November 9, 2018
A few weeks ago I woke up in the middle of the night and discovered that I could move my toes in a downward motion. I was so excited that I crawled out of bed, started a pot of coffee, and celebrated my toes’ success. Because I cannot do much in a graceful manner at the moment, the clanging aroused my wife from her sleep. Judy came out to find what I was up to. She understood my enthusiasm but told me to go back to bed. I had a similar experience today, but luckily it was not the middle of the night, and I did not interrupt anyone’s good night’s sleep.
When I walk, I have to wear a brace that immobilizes my foot. I have what is known as “drop foot” that causes my foot to point downward. I have had no ability to point my toes upward or move my foot vertically at the joint. I was so excited today that when I tried to move in that way and I was successful. At first, the motion was almost undetectable, but the more I attempted to wiggle, the more I was able to move.
My therapists have told me that I need to continue to attempt what I feel seems to be impossible. They have made it very clear that if I do nothing, I will gain nothing. Their cheerleading has been a real encouragement to me. Three months ago I can’t imagine being excited about moving an appendage. Perspective is everything.
I had the opportunity to spend time with a good friend for lunch today. We covered some heavy topics. We talked about how certain issues seem insurmountable. He has spent most of his career making moments matter for kids who had very little hope. A week of camp will most likely not change the circumstances many of these kids live in, but it is a start. I have not been able to teach in my normal fashion so here is my brief sermon point: I will not be able to walk again if I don’t start by wiggling my toes. There are many issues in our society right now that seems too big and too complex for the church to attack, but if we don’t start with little movements, we will make no significant success in trying to accomplish what we know to be the heart of God.
I know people will disagree with me on this, but the bottom line is, life is unfair. I hate unfair situations and try to do my best to right wrongs. Some of the situations are beyond my the ability to fix, but that does not give me an excuse to do nothing, or wait for somebody else to step in. I started my day with this Micah 6:8 paraphrase by the late Eugene Peterson. This needs to be the desire of our hearts:
“But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
take God seriously.” ~Micah 6:8 MSG
Praying that God we’ll allow all of us to wiggle our toes.