Lesson from Limping

On the Tuesday of Holy Week I found out the hard way that tennis shoes are not the best for gardening.  A metal garden stake made it through my shoe and a good ¾ inch into my foot.  Good timing!  Many thanks to all of you who saw the obvious irony with Jesus’ pierced feet.  Very punny.   I had to laugh at myself too, but you know what, it hurt!  And it really threw me off my game.  I’m used to being fleet afoot, playing basketball and rushing here and there.  I even have a standing desk in my office!  Well, God even works through gardening accidents, and along the way I learned a few things that I would like to share.

Down isn’t always out

I’ve often struggled with the attitude that if things aren’t going well for me, then I’ll just give up all together.  Yea, it was Holy Week, and that wasn’t an option.  So, I limped my way through the Maundy Thursday service and used my “foot washing” experience from the emergency room as an example for the children’s message.  Let me tell you, it was a lot better than the message I had planned before!  God has amazing ways of working through our weakness and inadequacies to do things that are impossible otherwise.  Perhaps you are dealing with situations that are less than optimal.  Look for the unique opportunity God is presenting you in the midst of your struggles!

Depend on the people in your neighborhood

So, I needed crutches.  I put out a call for crutches on Facebook and people were so generous.  I had my pick of crutches!  Within minutes I had a pair of crutches from the Moellers just down the alley.  A couple days later, a neighbor (who we had the opportunity to sing Christmas carols to on Christmas Day) saw me hobbling around.  He offered me his crutches which were much better.   These were awesome crutches and a huge help!  I’ve since given them back, but something else endures.  Now I have a great new friend in the neighborhood.   You better believe I’ll be there for him when he has a need.  Thanks God!

Handicap accessibility is awesome

I got pretty good at maneuvering in those crutches, but I still appreciated every handicap accessibility I could find.  The little driving carts at the Home Depot were kinda cool!  However, there were plenty of places that weren’t handicap accessible and so I had to go long distances in the crutches, or climb a huge flight of stairs or wind through a narrow space where I became a jumbled hopping one-footed mess of blue crutches!  It’s a wonder I didn’t end up on the floor!  I can walk on two feet now, but I see the handicap signs in a new way.   I got a taste of what some people go through every day.  A little help goes a long way.

Let others help

As we grow up, one of our primary goals is to be independent.  We want to be able to do things ourselves.  If you are driven, like me, you have a strong desire to do things yourself.  After all, it’s my job as a pastor to help other people!  Then I put a hole in my foot.   I needed help, and so many people were happy to give it.  I just needed to give them permission.  You see, the times when I got the most frustrated were the times when I tried to push myself beyond what I could do, even in the presence of people who were ready and willing to help!  Sometimes the very people I would help would be the ones helping me.  But isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?  Isn’t that the vision of the church? “Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. “ (Acts 2:45)  I was given assistance when I needed it and I give assistance when it’s needed by others.  That’s church.  Thank you!!

Jesus gave us the greatest assistance to our greatest need when his hands and feet were pierced and he was hung on the cross for our forgiveness.  He finished the job when he rose again for our new life together.  We need each other.   Perhaps it took a pierced foot of my own to figure that out.

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