A few years ago I was visiting my brother-in-law in upstate New York. It was a birthday party and I was having a good time. I had to use the restroom and took a step down and something happened to my left knee. I was in a lot of pain. I went to the emergency room and then seen a specialist. It turned out I torn my meniscus. The specialist told me because of my “age,” “weight,” and the fact that I have osteoarthritis; he didn’t feel an operation would help. Nice right. Lucky for him, Jesus took enough of the Brooklyn out of me that he’s still breathing. I walked with a cane for a season. When I did start to lose weight, my knee felt better. But let’s face it, who wants a doctor to tell them the obvious – you’re old and overweight.
Since that time, I noticed something about myself. Whenever I walk down stairs, I lead with my right foot. I never step down on the left. I’m very cautious and walk down slowly. I was in pain for a long time and I didn’t want that to happen again. I didn’t want to take any chances. I was going to protect my knee at all costs.
It’s been two or three years since this happened, yet I still walk down the stairs with my right foot. I didn’t realize I was doing this until the other day. So I attempted to walk down the stairs leading with my left foot. Funny thing was nothing happened. I didn’t get hurt. It still felt very weird to me. It didn’t feel natural any more to walk that way. I was so used to walking the other way that I didn’t know how to walk down the stairs normally.
I found that when my heart gets hurt by someone, I do the same thing. I protect it at all costs. I start approaching other relationships cautiously. I’m not sure if the new person will end up hurting me as the last person did. It’s unfortunate but my deepest wounds have been from other Christians. Why is that, I wondered? It’s because I let them in the closest.
I put up protective walls around the organ that was hurt – in this case, my heart. I don’t take chances. But that’s no way to live. I robbed myself of the richness of love that’s out there. Just because someone hurt me, doesn’t mean everyone will. Just because it happened in the church doesn’t mean I shouldn’t go to church anymore. For a while there I walked with a cane. I limited myself. For those you who were around me at that time I apologize.
Coming to this island has been like a fresh start for me. I realized that I had the walls up and it wasn’t fair to me or to the people of the church. I’ve let the walls come down. It feels good. I feel free. I feel like myself. I’m starting to feel what normal is supposed to be. I’m not walking funny anymore.
© Nadine Zawacki 2012