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Like pages of a favorite book, worn over time, from being read, silently or aloud, again and again and again…

A beloved quilt, stitches loosened, colors faded beyond recognition, tattered edges, patches needing to be re-patched…

A stuffed rabbit, with most of the fur rubbed off since childhood eons ago, thread-bare, stained, one button eye missing, batting leaking out, the tail once fluffy, now reduced to a stump…

And I wonder why these ten enameled toes on my two feet with rugged heels at the back are looking not-so-gently-used!

One pair of feet fully-grown are able to carry hundreds of pounds, to walk over 100,000 miles in a lifetime. Amazing!

Just counting our mommy years, the work is non-stop—chasing after toddlers, climbing stairs, walking behind strollers, tricycles, bicycles, shopping carts, balancing the rest of the body while pushing our babies on swings or catching them at the bottom of the slide, running errands, pushing the vacuum cleaner, carting laundry, hunting for lost socks and loose change and waiting-to-be-discovered bargains… chauffeuring, maneuvering, dodging, skipping, dancing, juggling, teaching, mentoring…

Whew!

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Twenty-six bones, thirty-three joints, over one hundred ligaments, muscles and tendons… one-fourth of the bones in the human body are located in the feet… with a design so unique, so complex, providing this body and yours strength, mobility, balance, and unbelievable endurance.

And the Creator gave us a matched set!

Occasionally, with hands busy and full, our feet are able to substitute, by sliding, kicking, grabbing a small object with our toes, or by holding both feet close together. Amazing, isn’t it? But wait—I said that already!

In this case, though, I think it’s okay to say it again.

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.  –  Psalm139:13-14

As young moms, didn’t we love playing with our babies’ (and now, our grandbabies’) toes?

This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home…

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There’s absolutely no feeling quite like walking on a cool, grassy lawn… going barefoot at the beach or on a warm sidewalk after a summer rain shower… kicking burnished autumn leaves… traipsing through the snow or skiing down the slopes with friends… snuggling with bare feet under the covers next to somebody I love.

As a girl I walked everywhere: to and from school… across pastures, forests and creeks in the German countryside… along railroad tracks to the next village… climbing hills and the fallen ruins of ancient castles…

My summers were spent with my feet mostly unshod. These poor toes got scraped so many times from riding my bike without shoes—it took me a whole summer to learn that lesson.

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Now my 49-and-holding feet stay in hiding most of the year. In the summer when my toes beg for escape, I use a pumice stone in the shower, slather my feet with lots of lotion and keep my toe nails painted. (If I’m ever in Asia, the first thing I plan to do is make a date with some feet-nibbling fish!)

I thought about my ways, and turned my feet to Your testimonies.  –  Psalm 119:59

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.  –  Luke 1:76-79

We have a responsibility to keep our feet pointed in the right direction, not allowing them to take us away from God. He promises to guide our feet as long as we remain close to His side.

At this age, pretty feet or ugly feet isn’t the question. A pair of feet that belong to their Maker, are dedicated to walking in His ways, following intentionally in His steps, not straying habitually from His path… feet that travel across the street or halfway across the globe, taking the message of salvation to those who have yet to hear… bigger feet leading smaller feet to love Him…

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved… The Lord is your keeper… the Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.  –  Psalm 121

Even with wrinkles, spots, cracks and calluses, ingrown nails, toes crippled from arthritis—feet that lived well and pursued life fully… God sees those feet as beautiful.

 

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