A Different Point of View
The salesman picked up the big pile of boxes from which he had pulled shoes to try on me. None had fit over my deformed big toe joints, my bunions.
I turned to mother in despair. “My feet are so ugly, Mom. I wish they were nice and straight like yours.” I looked in envy at her petite feet, so straight where mine were so bulgy.
For years I prayed about my ugly feet until one year when my husband and I were taking a vacation in the U.S. from our mission station in Brazil, I heard of a possible solution. Our daughter was studying at a Bible school. She told me of a fellow student’s father who was a podiatrist, and asked, “Mom, I think Dr. Roteman can fix your feet. Why don’t you check with him?”
Within a few days my feet had been x-rayed and I was lying on a gurney waiting for the anesthetic to deaden my foot. Dr. Roteman put headphones on me and turned the radio to a Christian station so I wouldn’t hear as he sawed through the bone leading to my big toe. A helper stood beside me and held my hand. Tears of sympathy filled his eyes as he watched what was being done to my foot, but I felt nothing and only heard the beautiful music on the radio. I was totally at peace, knowing the doctor was a strong Christian and had prayed for God to guide him as he did the operation.
The doctor had explained the process to me. There would be two operations. He would do one foot at a time, starting with the right one. He would cut out a section of the bone leading to my big toe, remove it and then splice the bones together with screws. With that section gone, the toe would straighten out. No more bunion.
The healing process went well. First I used a wheel chair to get around, next a walker and then a hard-soled shoe that would keep me from bending my foot. At each doctor’s visit afterward, he would put my foot into a foot whirlpool to help it heal. The doctor and I would have a short visit as we sat there. He asked me what my husband and I were doing in Brazil.
I explained our unusual situation. We prayed for years for the Lord to provide a way for us to go as missionaries, when it seemed impossible. Too old for most mission boards, three children, no Bible school training; all these things ruled out approval by a mission board. Then we heard of a means of going as lay missionaries to a mission coffee farm and that’s how we landed on the southwestern jungle frontier of Brazil. The experience had been exciting as our front porch filled with about 50 people each Sunday night to hear about Jesus Christ. Most of them had never heard before and the majority of them were illiterate so they eagerly took in the Bible stories we told.
Dr. Roteman looked at me with a smile on his face. “Do you realize that God often looks at things with a different point of view than we have?” he asked.
“Yes, I know.” I answered. “But what are you driving at?”
“Well, you looked at your feet and saw ugly, deformed feet. God looked at them with a different point of view. In chapter 52, verse 7, the prophet Isaiah describes what he saw:
‘How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of the messenger
who announces peace,
Who brings good news,
who announces salvation.’
After that talk, I looked down at my feet with new respect. How thankful I was for God’s point of view.
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Bible reference is from NRSV
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