Oh, afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted…Isaiah 54:11a
If you have ever suffered a broken leg, strained ankle, or an inflamed sciatic nerve, then you know the pain of walking crippled. In our hurry-up world it is not acceptable to slow down, so we push through the pain and often create greater injury.
I once had a friend whose ankle was broken. She was confined to a wheelchair and managed to navigate around the house, cast extended like a battering ram, with awkward but efficient movements. However, her desk was located in a loft, accessed only by a steep flight of stairs. I watched nervously as she levered her way up and down those stairs, afraid she would fall. Her response to my cries of concern as she bumped up the stairs was, “I have to…I can…They said I couldn’t, but I will show them!” She was walking crippled—she just did not know it.
On an emotional and spiritual level, we all harbor wounds which cause us to walk unnaturally. Most often, some traumatic situation in early childhood caused us to believe something about ourselves that was not true—it was a lie. “It was my fault.” “I am stupid.” “I am alone.” “I am worthless.” Notice that all of these statements center on the word “I”, which is common for young, immature thinkers. These beliefs can keep us crippled in our relationship with God and others.
When we believe a lie about our personal value and worth, we make choices based on what we believe. The lie may as well be true. If we believe we are worthless we will allow people to treat us badly, believing we deserve it. You have heard the stories and so have I—people walking crippled. People trapped in the familiar believing they are the only ones who can make things right, like my friend on the stairs.