It was the limp that caught my eye.
In a bit of a rush, a common state of being for me as of late, I grabbed a shopping cart, quickly tallying my purchases against the quickest route through the store. Eyes on my phone, I almost ran into him.
The man with the limp.
Frustrated at the interruption to my pace, I slowed down enough to avoid nicking his heels. Pausing to increase the space between us, I watched him move. There was something about his gait, the slouch of his shoulders, the tilt of his head as he meandered down the aisle that tugged at my heart.
He must’ve lived quite the life.
Unbidden, the thought brought tears to my eyes. What was wrong with me?
A quick swipe of my finger erased the trickle of truth I felt.
Just like me. It felt as if this man reflected the status of my soul. Broken. Weary. Limping along. My brokenness was hidden, but just as real as this man in front of me.
My mind traveled to those broken places, quietly tallying a different list than the one I started a moment before.
A longing to love and be loved, but my heart shattered, scattered into a thousand pieces year after year until there was nothing left. Nothing but a breathing mess.
Those scattered pieces brought shame, hopelessness, and so much fear. Would I ever feel whole again? Would my heart ever be healed?
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (Psalm 34:18, NLT)
My thoughts shifted to a different day, a day spent in quiet, safely tucked away. Healing inched its way in, wrapping its tender love throughout those wounded places.
In the silence of that day, brave and uncertain, I gathered the splintered shards that were left of my heart and cautiously offered them to the One who drew near. As my hands opened, realization struck. For every piece I offered to the Savior, He graciously revealed He had gathered so many more. Not only had He been present each time my heart broke, but he had captured each piece, each tear shed, and was repairing and restoring my heart, fashioning it after His own.
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” (Psalm 56:8, NLT)
Tenderly, gently, and with great compassion he began to bandage those wounded places. He provided a safe place to heal from years of tragedy and sorrow. He breathed new life where death had reigned. He whispered words of His love and grace and mercy, filling the wounded space with peace and hope.
That’s when it struck me, as I trailed behind that man with a limp. A sense of kinship for this stranger welled within. Healing was possible. Our battle scars may look different, but we pressed on, moved forward, one step at a time. Love would come again. Even with a limp.
“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.” (Psalm 5:11-12, NLT)
Where do you love with a limp? Do you believe that God can heal each wound, filling you with a love so deep that it heals every broken part?
(originally shared at Ask God Today Ministries)