A few months ago I bought a new pair of running shoes, but they didn’t work. Instead, I developed discomfort in my right heel. After giving those new running shoes away, I went back to wearing my old ones, but the ache in my foot remained. Seeing my reflexologist, symptoms were assessed and she found I had a heel spur. Since then, I’ve been following her recommendations, and my foot is on the mend. But, without believing in her diagnosis or her treatment, I never would have acted on her recommendations nor had any hope of healing. Since then though, I’ve taken her advice because I trusted her professional insights. As a result, my foot is on the mend.
The treatments she advised are not expensive, difficult or dependent upon anyone else but me. I am the one responsible to do the necessary movements that will bring healing.
Since my foot reminds me of its pain every morning with my first step out of bed, it is easy to remember the care I need to give my foot. After I’ve poured myself a cup of coffee, I sit down and begin one of the recommended exercises. I place a soup can underneath my foot and roll it back and forth. In a matter of minutes, the muscles, tendons and fascia in my foot elongate and the tension in my foot releases. It will take some months for this pain to completely go away. But if I was not given hope that over time my foot would improve by doing this simple action, I’d dismiss this routine from my life. But the pain in my foot is decreasing, so I will keep on rolling my foot over that soup can.
There is another pain that greets me every morning as well. But this one is not physical. It is the heart ache of estrangement. Upon rising each morning my heart reminds me that for some reason, a close family member will not forgive me of my offense. Though I’ve asked their forgiveness, they refuse to give it. We are at an impasse because they find me to be disingenuous and untrustworthy. I wish there was an easy treatment for the predicament I find myself in, yet there is not. But like my heel spur, this discomfort reminds me to take action toward comfort and healing in the midst of the pain.
Thankfully, I’ve found something that works. Once again, the treatment is not expensive, or difficult and I am the one who is responsible to remember to take action. It is called not being anxious, but praying with supplication and thanksgiving which results in possessing a peace that goes beyond my understanding.
If I did not believe that off loading the cares of my heart onto the God of all creation made any difference, then I would eliminate prayer from the routine of my life. Instead though, I can attest to the changes this simple exercise makes on a heart that hurts. Unloading my concerns makes room for giving thanks. I may not be directly thankful for the rejection I feel from this person, but I am thankful that God knows and cares about it. And by the time I’ve made my hurts, my confusion and my hopes known to God, I sense I’ve been heard and understood. This knowledge settles my heart.
Why bother taking hopeful actions? No matter the pain, if we believe there is hope, then there are actions we can take to aid our healing,