Breathe . . .
A moment’s grace. That’s what I am in search of.
I lift my legs to test them out for the day.
Sometimes I’m easy going . . . but because I have MS sometimes I walk like a your great-great grandma – that just stepped off the Tea Cups at Disneyland.
This is the walk of shame but it has nothing to do with my gait.
My walk with God stumbles. I fall flat on my backside. I wonder if anyone notices I’ve fallen in a giant big old puddle of poor-poor-pitiful-me.
When I was a little girl there was no wearing your jeans to church like there is today. There were no t-shirts in religion. In our southern Baptist upbringing there were stupid looking sailor dresses that I hated, pantyhose that itched and those granny looking slips that lined the scratchy taffeta of a Sears and Roebucks dress.
Every time I went to the bathroom mid-sermon I remember thinking ‘’Is my dress tucked in my pantyhose? Is there toilet paper on my shoe?” Once I almost hit the sanctuary doors with my dress not only tucked in my pantyhose but inside my panties. You know the worst way . . . the kind that comes out in the FRONT of your pantyhose.
I feared the walk of shame so much. So much so that I always sat in the back row . . . with the deacons who were, in my seven year old mind, ancient.
There is nothing like health problems to leave you checking your pantyhose again. My arm feels weak . . . am I dying?! I can’t see straight . . . am I going blind?! I’m twitching . . . am I crazy?! Is this it? Is this the BIG ONE? Is that you Grandma Yetil? Should I walk into the light now?
NOTHING like unexpected trouble can make you question the One who made you. ‘’Why?” I don’t know about you but I’m sure you can relate – healthier days, days when everything was going pristine and perfectly MY WAY this is the scene you would find me in . . . my hands raised high with praise, my mouth open in radical faith as I say ‘’Lord, make my life matter. Bring the rain when you must. May your name be exalted for Your glory . . . USE ME.’’
But when He uses us and we don’t like the way He uses us faith becomes less radical. Fear becomes a monster with an ugly head, eyeballs on his toes and eight tails. It hides beneath our bed and steals our joy. It robs us of our faith. It mocks us when we DO find that positive place. “This is it,’’ says Fear. ‘’Curtains.”
Fear changes my walk. Self-pity changes my walk. Fear leaves no room for God to work. He tells us “Perfect love casts out fear.’’ If we believe His love is perfect . . . we must find a way to toss the fear into the water to be swallowed up by The Fish.
His grace is sufficient. So why then does it not stop my suffering? Perhaps grace is something we can’t ever really understand.
But I think grace is that moment when you don’t think you can take another breath . . . and you do. Grace is that moment when you realize that – yes. My walk with God has changed. I need Him MORE. And because of this I take myself out of the vanity of life. I withdrawal from the world and from myself, from who I was. I am truly nestled in His arms like never before. My walk is different because now I realize He carries me.