A few months ago I kept complaining about pain in my left foot. It wasn’t a constant pain. It mostly hurt when I walked and the longer I walked, the more it hurt. There were certain shoes I could wear that eased the pain, but unfortunately those athletic shoes didn’t go with everything in my wardrobe, nor were they appropriate for some of the places I needed to go on a regular basis, like work.
finally made an appointment with a doctor and the x-ray confirmed that I
had a couple of fractures in my fifth metatarsal bone. I have no idea
when or how it happened, but was glad to finally know what the problem
was. I left the doctor’s office that day with a pneumatic orthopedic
boot on my left foot.
Walking in the boot was a little
awkward at first. The bottom of it is not flat on the ground. It rests
on a small ball so that your foot rocks on it when you walk. It also
raises your height a couple of inches, so one of the first things I had
to do was to buy a new pair (you can’t buy just one shoe) of shoes for
my other healthy foot so that it would be the same distance from the
ground as the booted one.
It took a few days and little
practice to get used to wearing and walking in that boot and to get to
the point where I wasn’t constantly aware of it. The longer I wore it
the more I began to realize how much better my foot felt when it was in
that boot. The other thing that happened was that it caused me to meet
some wonderfully interesting people.
Whenever I was out
and about in that boot, it became a topic of discussion with people
everywhere. I ended up in several wonderful conversations with total
strangers who asked about it or joked about what my husband must look
like after that kick.
When I was wearing that boot, I
noticed a lot of other people wearing similar contraptions. I don't know
if it was the peak season for foot injuries or if being in one made me
more sensitive to them, but orthopedic booted feet were everywhere. I
found myself drawn into conversations with most of the wearers whose
path I crossed. They were conversations I would not have had otherwise
and often went beyond anything foot related.
pain, injury, and inconvenience put me in a position to consider my
steps more carefully and see things from a different perspective. I have
always thought my short, stubby feet and bulbous, crooked toes were
ugly. I’ve envied others with long, straight toes and slender feet. This
whole metatarsal fracture and orthopedic boot experience reminded me,
however, that function is way more important than appearance.
fractured state took me places I’d never been and put me face to face
with people who likely felt their own pain as they acknowledged mine.
The thing that resonated between me and other sufferers was not injury
details, but instead how we’ve managed to deal with it and keep moving.
the example Jesus left. He suffered pain, injury, and agony on this
earth, obviously much worse than mine, but there was purpose in it. That
purpose was for us. That purpose gives us hope to move forward with the
good news that it is possible to get beyond the suffering.
matter what the injury, the good news is this, “Everyone who calls on
the name of the Lord will be saved.” That is hope worth sharing, even in
conversations with strangers. The bonus for ogre-footed people like me,
as it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good
news!” (Romans 10)
“For to this you have been called,
because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that
you might follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:21
This was originally posted February 26, 2017 on The Press and Standard website