by Anniel 10/15/16
I hated wearing shoes when I was young. My mother tried her best to make me wear them, but my soles were so thick with calluses I could run over glass and not get too worried about it. My Uncle Joe would wince when he saw me, shake his head sadly, and call me “Daisy May.”
I would run over the fields around the shack we lived in, step in the middle of fresh cow pies and keep going to the nearest irrigation ditch to rinse my feet off, until I stepped on the next hidden pie. Sometimes I managed to spot them and jump over them in time to stay clean, relatively speaking.
I also ran on the unpaved gravel road in front of our yard.
Now I am such a wimp I cry when I walk on padded carpeting. No calluses for my tender toes anymore.
I tell you this so you can fully appreciate the marathon I ran when we thought my youngest brother was going to die, and we made solemn promises to a God we knew almost nothing about in order to save him.
We were four young children. My eldest brother was weeks from his 11th birthday, I was almost 8, my next brother was 5-1/2, and our baby brother was not yet 2. Our father had taken our only vehicle somewhere and we were home with Mom.
The front screen door opened to a cement porch with a couple of steps down to the yard. The baby liked to kind of swing on the door while hanging on to the door handle, and ride the door back to the house. Mom tried to stop him, but . . . On this particular day I watched him for a few minutes, when a sudden gust of wind whipped the door wide open and threw him out onto the porch. He stood up and staggered into the house gushing blood all over the place. We children all screamed and Mom ran out.
Grabbing the baby up Mom tried to stop the bleeding with a wet cloth, no luck. Then she told me to run the mile or so to the nearest neighbor with a car to take them to the doctor in the nearest town. Off I went down the gravel road. Out of breath when I got there, I gasped out the story to Mrs. Patterson and started running back home, when I saw our truck speeding past me.
My father, who normally fainted at the very sight of blood, was wild eyed as he stared straight ahead. My mother had my almost albino blonde baby brother on her lap with the bloody cloth still up to his face. Even his hair was bloody. They all looked terrible and I kept crying as I ran back to tell Mrs. Patterson that she needn’t come after all.
When I got home my two other brothers and I sat on the steps and cried over the certain demise of our baby brother. Then we began our bargaining with God. If He would just save the baby we would be such GOOD children. We would do whatever our parents asked, say our prayers every night, never complain about our chores, wash our hands, brush our teeth, never lie about anything, go to Sunday School without complaint, whatever was required. Most importantly we would NEVER, EVER be mean to our baby brother again. Please save him and we would be PERFECT CHILDREN. Promise.
Then we just huddled together for comfort until our parents came home. The baby had a measly 7, count them, 7 stitches on the edge of his chin. All of our crying and bargaining and the dumb brat needed only 7, count them again, 7 stitches? What a revolting development that was.
We were in a moral dilemma all right. Did we need to keep our promises to God for ONLY 7 stitches? I don’t remember ever thanking God for saving the baby.
You can tell I had a steep learning curve ahead of me when I finally decided to think more seriously about the state of my soul. As I began school and had to wear those hated shoes and my fleshy soles softened, there were more serious promises to make, more learning to be done, more promises to keep.
I may be a wimp now about the soles of my feet, but I have to be be both softened, and also strengthened, about what I can and will do about my most important asset, my heavenly soul. No bargaining, no dishonesty,
just honest, fully informed adult repentance.
These days I want to be square with God when I meet Him. • (780 views)