On my way home from the gym this morning I had a thought-I am blessed with bad knees and jiggly arms. You might think I have lost my mind as you read this but please let me explain.
As I finished my workout in the pool and headed to the locker room, I noticed a beautiful woman fixing her hair and probably soon heading to work. As she put on her finishing touches she spoke kindly to another gym member and all of a sudden I was focused on her inner beauty and not how she looked. I soon finished up and as I headed out, said good morning to a slim and fit woman who merely scowled in return. As I was driving home I noticed an older woman briskly taking her morning walk and I thought how nice it would be to be able to walk like that. Another walker I observed was obviously very out of shape but she was giving it her all and that is when I had an epiphany!
I have arthritic knees with one knee replacement under my belt and another looming on the horizon. For the most part these aching knees get me where I need to go (even if sometimes not quite where I want to go)! My knees remind me of the many miles they have traveled, the ropes they have jumped, the hopscotch they have hopped, the runs to a crib side, and the bending and stooping they have endured for the past 60+ years. If they need a little relief from time to time, who am I to complain? I have abused them too. Carried too much weight, not exercised them enough, and in general took them for granted.
My jiggly arms are part genetics but mostly too many years of not enough dedicated attention. These arms have hugged loved ones, cuddled babies, waved goodbye, and carried just about anything I have asked of them. I am thankful for their years of service.
So what would my world look like with good knees and firm arms? Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that poor exercise habits are to be commended. Not at all. In fact, I do work out fairly regularly. I am saying this is where I am in life and I have decided these flaws are a blessing after all. I spent years covering up these flabby extremities and now I wear the clothes that I want to wear. In the past few years I have decided to focus on the person I am rather than my physical self. I wonder why it took me so long to figure these things out? Would the sun still rise tomorrow if the world got a glimpse of my arms? Would I be judged by those I care about? I think not. Would I be looked at by a stranger who might snicker? Maybe. If they saw my inner self would it change their opinion? Maybe, maybe not. Does it really matter? I hope not. Can I learn humility and work as hard on being the person I feel God called me to be? Even if this does not fit the image the world might expect of me?
Will my knees still scream for mercy sometimes and will I miss that hike to the top of the mountain? Probably. Will they still carry me to my husbands waiting arms or for a walk along the sandy shore? I think so. If someday they give out all together can I sit along the shore and just enjoy the crash of the waves, sit in a forest and appreciate the song of the birds and the whoosh of the breeze in the trees? Absolutely! Many have endured much more.
Will my beloved Thommmee lean over to offer a kiss? I know that he will.
No, I am still too proud to post a picture of my flaws-so perhaps I still have much to accept. I don’t run and hide when they pull out the camera anymore. I want people to someday reflect on me in these photos…. to remember the mom that I was, the role of grandmother I so treasured, the friend, sister, wife, and the smile and kindness I offered to those around me. That is my prayer. Let me make a difference and someday be remembered for the person and not the body.
If we can appreciate the beauty of each flower and not the flaws of each petal, what would our world look like? What have you been blessed with?