Walking with a Spiritual Limp

You know it’s a bad day when you and your husband compare how much each other’s knees are swollen.Limping Couple

He’s still recuperating from breaking his leg last fall and feeling the aftereffects of the rod they rammed–to hear him tell it–through his femur to support the shattered bone. The rod ends just above the knee and thinks that’s a fine place for extra fluid to build up.

I’m almost two years beyond my knee replacement surgery on my right knee. Now it’s my left knee that swells, creaks, and groans.

We look far older than our years when we try to climb out of a car and know enough to give each other plenty of time for that Everest task. We stand at the bottom of a long flight of stairs and sigh before tackling it. Our freezer is filled with more ice packs than ice cream.

I tease that because of the soreness in his thigh and knee, my husband now walks like a pirate. A very handsome and taller-than-average pirate.

The limp is growing less noticeable. But it’s a reminder of damage done and healing still in process.

Is that what a spiritual limp does too? So many around us walk with a spiritual limp, with their “gait” affected by some damage from the past, long ago or recent. It takes them longer to move toward a challenge. They sigh at the foot of a trying experience, not sure they have the energy for the whole climb or that there’s hope they’ll reach the top still breathing. (See Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices for more.)

If that’s you, please be assured God addressed even that in His Word. Hebrews 12 encourages us, “So strengthen your drooping hands and weak knees! Make straight paths for your feet so that if any part is lame, it will be healed rather than injured more seriously…Make sure no root of bitterness grows up that might cause trouble…” (verse 12 and 15, CEB).

Our spiritual limp can be healed. God’s counsel is two-fold: Watch where you’re going, and don’t let bitterness make this healing process harder than it already is.

If someone you know is sporting a pirate limp, is it your extended hand that will help him or her over the curb? Up the next step in their pain-wracked journey?

When has someone played that role for you? Not a crutch, but a steadying hand?