Anytime anything happens – a twisted ankle, a slip on ice, a dropped bowl in the kitchen, a stubbed toe, a broken glass – this happens when one isn’t being careful. Nathan has made it his mission in life to teach me this underlying life principle, to write it on our doorposts and engrave it on our hearts and all that.
It’s true that I’ve been known to mindlessly wash dishes without focusing every ounce of my attention on the task at hand – now the faucet goes on to just the right level of water flow, now the dish in my right hand; now transfer weight for a moment to my left hand while I get a squirt of soap; back to the right hand, and so forth.
It’s also true that sometimes when I’m walking I’m thinking about other things than which foot is on the ground, which foot is in midair for a moment, and the precise angle at which I expect my metatarsals to graze the floor next.
So perhaps the man has a point.
Over the years he’s learned to decrease the cautionary words of advice, however well-intentioned they may be, and increase the empathy levels. So, when I texted him on Friday to tell him I had tripped outside, dropped the baby (she's okay, thank goodness!), and injured the top of my foot, which was rapidly turning blue and swelling to the size of a golf ball, I received in response: “Oh baby! Are you ok?” followed almost immediately by a phone call. And not once in said phone call did he admonish me to be more careful where, when, and in what fashion I stepped with my right foot when walking out-of-doors.
On Saturday afternoon, when I still couldn't put any weight on my foot without pain, that empathetic husband of mine drove me to an urgent care clinic where, after an hour of waiting, taking my temperature, asking me a series of inane questions unrelated to the obvious problem at hand, they finally did an x-ray and diagnosed me with a broken fifth metatarsal.
Going into Holy Week seems like such a dreadful time to break one's foot.
I can stump around the house slowly and painfully, to be sure, but the going is slow, the stairs are nearly impossible, and worst of all: no driving for the foreseeable future.
I have things to do! Holy Week menus to make and groceries to buy! Easter plans to put into place! Spring cleaning to be done! Small children to care for! Laundry to do, places to go, commitments to keep!
Compounding the matter at hand, poor Ree was running a temperature today and wanted nothing but Mama snuggles and catnaps all day long.
And I found myself thinking that perhaps Holy Week is exactly the right time to break one's foot, after all.
It's slowed me down to a childlike pace where I truly have no choice but to stop and let the little children come.
My every step is uncomfortable, to be sure, but can that even compare with the steps we remember this week: the slow and steady uphill steps of a man who carried his own cross?
A small broken bone in my foot? The whole world is broken, and that is why he came. Why he entered the world, lived among and loved the broken people, and finally, said, "This is my body, broken for you."
My broken foot will mend in time, but immeasurably greater is the truth that all the brokenness has already been overcome, and it is that celebration of resurrection wholeness that I limp towards at the close of this Holy Week.