Crutches

Atheists attack Christians for using their faith as a “crutch.” Having just completed a 4,000-mile trip to visit family in the U.S., I am forever indebted to crutches.

US & Texas Flags

Not that I initially planned to include crutches on the trip. Oh, no! This Texan was going to meet family standing tall and straight in her own strength and leave the crutches at home. However, while I was born Texan, one hip must have come from a neighboring state. When we left on the trip, the crutches traveled with us. What a blessing they were!

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First, they helped me walk – especially on those long stretches through multiple airports. An unexpected benefit was preferential treatment. I never requested help. I confidentially swung along the endless corridors on metal crutches. Airport personnel, however, put Alan and I at the front of the lines and even changed our seats to the front of the plane for one flight. On two of the flights, we would have missed our connections had it not been for the hated crutches. We were personally walked through the additional boarding pass we needed and then Security by an American Airlines employee (I called him our angel since the plane was already boarding by the time we got there). Next, we were whisked through the endless reaches of airport terminals on a wheelchair – or at least – I was in the wheelchair. Without that “crutch,” we would have missed our flight.

Victory riders #2

Visiting SeaWorld with granddaughter Dulcinea and her mom won further accolades for the resented crutches. Crutches transformed into a wheelchair which sent us to the front of long lines. It was not planned, it just happened. While I had eschewed the use of crutches on the trip and feared they would be an embarrassment – my granddaughter and her mom were thrilled at how beneficial they proved.

Alan, Fl wild

But the main benefit of crutches proved my restored belief in people’s kindness. Everywhere I walked on crutches, strangers of both sexes and every ethnicity rushed to help me. With smiling faces and sympathetic nods, they lifted and carried my bags and opened doors. With all the negative news focusing on violence and hatred around the world, what a blessing to find out that kindness is alive and operating generously.

Alan w everyone

I’ve repented and asked God’s forgiveness for my resentful attitude about the crutches. Even though I know and believe my two favorite Bible verses, “in everything give thanks,” and “all things work together for good to those who love the Lord,” my pride took a hit from my mobility weakness. God transformed the crutchy experience into a beneficial one.

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Another favorite verse of mine has always been “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5 & 6.

So…is Christianity a crutch? Hey, who cares? Crutches rock!

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Fog Vision

Since childhood, I have loved fog. It shrink wraps the world into a manageable space and draws mysterious misty stage curtains across the landscape hiding imperfections. For the writer, it falls gently down into the world like fresh inspiration for a stalled novel. Background for dreams – new fire for romance.

Non-writers hate fog. For drivers and pilots, the opaque, morphing water droplets translate into a nightmare. Limited vision endangers travelers, slows down roadway traffic and clogs up the skies.

Me? I love fog. It reminds me of all the times in my life when the future has been as invisible and uncertain as ground to sky clouds that hide and confuse. Like a dog looking for a comfy place to nestle in grass, I’ve turned endless circles around present circumstances in an effort to find a storm-cleared path past present trials and hurts. I’ve looked for a warm, level, sunbathed path to an idyllic future.

If that describes your search – give it up. This is earth, not heaven, and there are no easy paths. Everyone has trials, testings, troubles, heartbreaks, failures, disappointments and hurts in their lives. You wouldn’t want to exchange sets of problems with another person. Their circumstances might be worse!

Having survived child abuse, living under a bridge, single-parenting, having my property stolen out from under me while I lived in an open-ended garden shed with no running water, bathroom or kitchen facilities and no heat in the winter – I consider myself an expert on hard times and survival. It helps to live in the fog.

When you learn to trust two Bible verses – in everything give thanks and all things work together to them that love the LORD – you travel through life in a spiritual fog that protects you from pain and injury. You still have to work hard. You still have to face problems, trials, temptations and grief. But you can ride through these like rainbow reflections on soap bubbles.

It’s not necessary to see where you’re going in the fog just so you make it safely to your destination. With Jesus in control, safe travel is guaranteed!

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Lighthouse in the fog, Fortrose, Scotland