The brace is there right next to my bed, the last thing I take off at night and the first thing I put on in the morning. It bothers me that I need it. I don’t like being reminded of my weakness.
I slip my left thumb into the hard plastic support. With the extra firmness of the metal encased inside I feel a little more stable and secure. The extra support of the two narrow strips encompassing my left hand brings a sense of comfort. The two slim slices of Velcro wrap me in and I am good to go.
I can’t grip jar lids now–I hand those to my husband. Buttoning buttons proves to be a daunting task these days–you absolutely need two hands and my thumb just has no strength for pushing through button holes. I can’t even hook on my bras in the morning–again, the husband.
I think of my thumb brace as I ponder my demeaning thoughts this morning about a friend at church.
I have been soooooo judgmental of her. Well, in a good, Christianese-y kind of way.
I mean, I have my reasons for my concerns. How can she call herself a believer and spend her time the way she does? It’s such a waste. Why isn’t she ________ (fill in the blank) like I am? Anyone who’s mature enough in the Lord can see right through her.
Why does she keep turning to so many fleshly things to help her in her daily life? God is all she needs, what is her problem?
What’s the connection?
Well, here’s the thing–I need help in many ways to handle the physical challenges of my life. Why would anyone begrudge me the need of my thumb brace if it gets me through my daily tasks? I have orthotics in my Skechers, I need glasses to see….the list goes on and on.
I am weak and broken in many places. Physically.
But what about spiritually? I am weak and broken and needy and healed and failing and falling and healed and over and over it goes. Jesus continues to peel off the layers of my shell of protection so He can get to the parts of me that need His touch.
But He doesn’t berate me for needing him–He comes with gentleness and patience and over and over again says, “Yes, Jody, we’ve been here before, but you’re getting better at saying yes.”
I’ve had friends come along side me all through my walk to give me the support I need to make it on this journey. We are all in different places on the path. We get distracted and wander off, we fall down and need a Band-Aid (or a crutch). We could be clapping on the sidelines or walking with someone along the way, hands on their shoulders encouraging them on.
We all need props and encouragement and grace. And love, not judgment, when we are weak.
What’s your prop today? Are you leaning on Jesus? I know I am.