After reading the Old Testament, I then read the New Testament and came across Isaiah’s prophecy again in the Gospel according to Mark:
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness:, Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”
This time I was drawn to the words “…the voice of one crying in the wilderness”. For me, these words alluded to another aspect of the straight path. They spoke of the loneliness an individual can experience as they strive to walk the straight path. Sometimes an individual must act alone to achieve justice and speak the truth. ‘Wilderness’ is not just a place bereft of people. It can also be a place full of people who, because of apathy or fear, accept injustice and refuse to put an end to it. Sometimes the virtuous act must be performed alone against the wishes of the many. Yet despite this isolation, the individual who acts virtuously gains far more than he loses. For each virtuous act he performs benefits both himself and others. It sets him on the straight path. It “Prepare [s] the way of the Lord” and “make [s] his paths straight”.