Have you ever been asked or told to do something that on the surface looked quite simple, yet when you attempted the task found the opposite to be true? Little did I know the container of marbles would become a source of pain, determination, and encouragement.
“Pick up 100 marbles with your toes.”
“That’s it”, I thought. “I’ll be finished with this in no time.” Earlier this year that statement would have been true. It would have been a breeze, a piece of cake. But on that day, it was a much different story.
Around October of 2017, I started experiencing severe pain on the back of my heel and the outside of my ankle. There was a large lump, and the area was quite painful to touch or quite frankly, at times even to look at. One doctor told me rest. stay off it, and the pain would subside. He felt it wasn’t bad enough for surgery or physical therapy. How does a school teacher stay off her feet? But, I rested my foot as much as possible for the next couple of months. The heel was not getting better, and I dreaded the thought of even walking from the car to the school doors. Stairs were almost impossible. It was time for a second opinion. The second doctor looked at the x-rays, signed me up for physical therapy and told me to use ice and heat. If the heel did not settle down considerably, he would schedule surgery for early June, after school was out for the year. The recovery would be a six month process, and I should be walking normally by the new year.
Physical therapy helped some, but not enough. I woke up dreading each day and all the steps I would need to take just to function. It was decided that the surgery would be moved up to February instead of waiting until June. So on February 2, I had a large bone spur removed from the back of my heel and the Achilles tendon reattached. The surgery was extensive, but it went well. I was making huge progress, and it was time to start physical therapy to teach my foot how to walk again.
Enter the 100 marbles. One of my exercises was to use my toes to pick up 100 marbles (one at a time) from a towel on the floor and drop them into a container. It really didn’t look difficult, but as I soon found out, it was much harder than I anticipated. I initially put the marble between my toes; it was efficient and got the job done. Success!!!!! Then the therapist watched what I was doing. Nope, I couldn’t put the marble between my toes, I had to grip them with my toes. I sat there for 25 minutes desperately trying to grip marbles and drop them into a container. My leg ached, my toes ached, and I was losing patience. I needed to stop so many times and rest, but finally all of the marbles were successfully transferred from the towel to the container. I had done it!!!!! Oh wait….this process had to be repeated each time I came to physical therapy. What was I going to do? I decided this exercise was indeed helpful in the recovery process, and if I could grip one marble at a time, couldn’t I grip multiple marbles? My goal became to grab more marbles each time and complete the task quicker than the last time. My record was four marbles at one time and completing the entire 100 marbles in 10 minutes.
So many parts of this process remind me of my walk with Jesus. At times I approach my christian walk my way, not God’s. I take shortcuts in my prayer time or even reading the Bible. I do just enough to be kind and considerate to others. But if I really stop and look, I realize I need to dig deeper and work through some hard things to become stronger and more grounded in my faith. There is a lot going on in our country right now. Our world is changing quicker than I would like. On the surface it appears easy to respect one another, to value one another, and to love one another. Unfortunately, we have lost sight of people as souls with feelings. We have allowed ourselves to think our way or opinions or thoughts are more important than others. In trying to make sense of what we are hearing and seeing, some of us have lost our way.
I love these verses about human interaction.
Romans 12:9-16 “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.”
Until Next Time,