Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Shoes

Eight years ago, almost to the day, we began.
I finally grabbed hold of His outstretched hand. 
The miry clay, still warm and sticky on bare feet, but no longer able to hold me captive.

My infancy was long.  He's been a patient Father.
An involved and active Father, working many changes in this babe.
But He mostly had to carry me.  Without complaining, He did.

More than six years in, it was time to put walking shoes on.
For a while they were new and uncomfortable.  I was wobbly.
He still had to tie them for me and set me on my feet.
Teetering toward Him, His words were always encouragement.
"That's it.  You've got it.  You're doing it!"
His expectations were for little by little forward motion.

The walking shoes were soon broken in. 
Quickly became worn and a little tight.
I could not go far but they were comfortable and safe.
So He waited until I began asking for new ones.

They are a little big but He says I need the room to grow.
They are not really my style, either.
Made for the outdoors, for climbing and exploring.
Hiking boots? For a girl who likes the safety and security the indoor spaces provide?

I put them on. 
I trust His gifts.  They are good and perfect.
He has shown Himself trustworthy these eight years.
I've had them almost a year. 
I still can't go anywhere in them unless I am holding His hand.
But we like it that way.

My feet are stepping places I never thought possible!
Stomping on strongholds I had long given up hope of overcoming.
Walking into victory.

All the while, stopping frequently, for rest and refreshsment.
Kicking off heavy boots to dip sore feet in still waters.
Lying down in green pastures, with tears streaming, I rejoice in callouses.
Reminders of our adventure so far.

Ahead looms another mountain. 
Ominous and treacherous.  Peak shrouded in dark, angry clouds.
I've been shouting at it to move.
But He wants us to scale it.
And strangely, I do, too!

 Joining Emily in celebrating redemption and making a theology of the arts through my imperfect prose.


Nancy said...

Love your imagery, Natalie. As one who keeps thinking she's finally grown into her shoes, that they've finally gotten comfortable, I resist having to grow into new ones. And hiking boots--it can be so painful, breaking those in! True story--lost both big toenails once on a hiking trip because my boots were too small. Maybe that's why your words resonate with me!

That Crazy Family said...

Lovely Natalie!! I am thrilled to have found your site through Emily's imperfect prose! I needed to read this this morning about my patient Father! Thank you!

Claudia said...

love how he step by step leads us - all of us customized - for some steps i needed quite a long time - and we walk now for 23 years together..

Anonymous said...

what an awesome picture of walking with Him...

Jodi said...

What a clever way to describe walking with the Lord. It reminds me of an old Appalachian hymn. Don't remember all the words, but the last line is "So friend, if you're thirsty, climb this mountain with me."

Elizabeth said...

Amen Natalie!!! This was beautiful and really captured (y)our walk with Christ. Thanks SO much for sharing!! I LOVED it!!!

patty said...

love the analogy!

emily wierenga said...

there are so many good lines in this, natalie... i love "my infancy was long" and the triumph of scaling a mountain at the end... what a perfectly imperfect journey you take us on... thank you, friend, for linking up today. xo

Anonymous said...

Natalie...this is A.B.S.O.L.U.T.E.L.Y. beautiful! I love the way you put your journey into a word picture. Thank you for sharing.

Bethany Ann said...

makes me want to hear the details of your journey thus far.

SuzyQ said...

What a stunning poem.
I love the way you use the analogy of shoes to describe the journey He takes us on.

Natalie said...

Oh ladies, thank you so much for all your sweet comments! I am so blessed by your encouragement!!!

Jingle said...

winsome post.

Natalie said...

Why, thank you, Jingle! Off to visit your place :)

Anonymous said...

Lovely. Thanks for sharing.

Hyacynth said...

A lovely extended analogy in beautiful prose! So wonderful. Glad I stopped by. :)


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