I rose to greet my friend the other day and she cocked her head to the side, she noticed my struggle.
My sort of favoring the weight landing on one leg not the other. “What’s going on with your leg?” she asked.
I answered, “I’m old!” and she smiled that wise smile that always says I know you so very well.
Thing is, something’s up with my knee and that nerve that we name as if it’s our nuisance of a relative who comes back around… “Oh, my sciatica is back.”
Yeah, I prefer to just roll with it, the changing of my body. The choice to not remember my mama’s knee surgery that began the decline and the piling on of medications and other compromises and complications that caused her to die.
I’m not my mother; but, I am beginning to pay attention more to the things I’d decided not to know, always making efforts to deny.
Can’t help but pay attention to my slight change in my walk, to the shifting of things weighty, one part compensating for the other, hoping to disguise.
I wondered yesterday, should we walk, should I break into a little intermittent run, sort of experiment with the knee pain, toy with its ability, test to see how much it could take?
Should I keep pushing my limit?
Yes, decidedly “movement is medicine”.
Colt, the big brown lab was beyond thrilled and listened as I told him sit, stayed in a brisk rhythm with me with the tug of the collar and we had an awesome walk together!
Nearing the end of the neighborhood, we were strolling and he was stopping for smells. On the phone with my sister in law, a white flash of object on the curve and corner.
A vehicle off the road, dug up and leveled the street sign flat then entered and exited the ditch and ended up on the road as if she’d just stopped to rest or re-navigate.
When she opened the door and freed herself from the airbag, I asked “Are you okay?” and she just stood for a minute then said she guessed she wasn’t paying attention.
She was okay, unharmed. Her car was not. Later, my sister in law and my neighbor called to make sure we were okay.
My neighbor says she’s stopped walking that way. My sister in law said maybe I shouldn’t be walking that way anymore.
I retorted, “I’m not gonna stop walking. It’s my thing, the closest to being in the country as I can get. I enjoy it and nobody’s gonna take it from me!”
Went on to say, people see me walking, they know our pattern. We get as close to the ditch as we can and we stop next to the big empty field and sometimes even sit there to rest.
Thing is, the brand new SUV which happens to be a newer version of my “new” car would have most likely thrown Colt and I into the air had we been only a minute or so farther in our walk.
I don’t know where we’d have ended up or what shape we’d be in, how far gone we might have been.
This morning, I’m reading from the Book of Hebrews and I’ve written a pretty firm “disciplinary note” to self.
A note about my walk, about the way I walk, about paying attention and knowing I’m being paid attention to.
About being very careful lest I lose my connection to God, lest I lose my ability to make disciples due to my lack of discipline.
Lest I lose that knowing what it is He knows is mine to do, lest I drift too far away.
My sister in law and I agreed, I need to pay more attention and I woke clearly hearing God say, “Pay attention to these things I am showing you.”
“Pay attention, Lisa.”
Take notice of what and who I’ve brought into your presence to teach you.
“You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.”
Isaiah 30:20-21 NLT
The woman who careened frighteningly into the ditch and back out, she was unharmed; but, also wobbly in speech and stature, I believed she should not drive and when she tried, I explained to her she couldn’t.
She, a teacher for me.
A flat tire, no windshield and air bags blocking the view, I worked hard to convince her she was unable to go any farther.
She had gone too far already.
She needed to stay put, not take any more chances, dangerously testing providence and grace.
My neighbor said her husband came, I’m not sure where it all went from there. I was worried about her and for her; but, I didn’t want to know the consequences, see them play out.
Today, I’m paying closer attention to what it is God has to say about some of my ways in my walk and how my limp might be beginning to be more noticeable, more a handicap, less moderated.
My walk less straight and focused, my vision blurred by occasional choices teetering on the edge of becoming regular rituals.
I’m not condemning myself, just taking note, standing straight and being a cautious student and a noticer of my surroundings.
Making sure the occasional limp doesn’t cause me to fall, doesn’t level me flat on my face and unable to recognize my violent turns off the right road, onto the wrong path.
“Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.”
Hebrews 12:12-13 ESV
My knee is tender, but my walk is straight today and of my path, I’m more attentive.
My heart and soul not made lame and shamed by my understanding; but, healed and renewed anew.
We all stumble in many ways, over choices, chances taken, patterns established and left uncontrolled. But if we are to be disciples we must be attentive to our self-discipline.
We must be attentive to the One who is watching over us, longing for our consistent notice.
“He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.”
Psalms 121:3 NLT
linking up with others who tell their stories of God in our days.