Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FEET (01/17/19)
- TITLE: Battered, Bruised, Broken, But Blessed
By Mariane Holbrook
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
"Are you Bub's wife?" a man in railroad overalls and cap asked, struggling to breathe. "I'm Bub's friend, Carl. I ran all the way from the railroad round-house to tell you Bub fell from the top of an engine he was working on and may have broken his back. He's been taken to the Tioga hospital. I thought you ought to know."
Stunned, Mama untied her apron, grabbed her pocketbook, and ran next door to ask her sister to watch Mama's children for the rest of the day. Then she and Carl rushed to the hospital over a mile away.
Daddy had indeed broken his back. He was in surgery when Mama arrived so a nurse explained his injuries as best as she could. After Daddy was wheeled back to his room, Mama held his hand and told him over and over how much she loved him.
In 1938, with the nation still squeezed around the throat by the Great Depression, Daddy's injury couldn't have happened at a worse time. With only 9 percent of the U.S. population having health insurance. and unemployment at a staggering 25 percent, our family of 9 was totally unprepared for Daddy's serious injury.
Mama walked to the hospital every day during the four weeks Daddy was a patient there. Her feet were misshapen since childhood because the hand-me-down shoes from her older sisters never fit her correctly. In adulthood, Mama suffered from hammertoes, bunions, corns, plantar fasciitis, ingrown toenails, blisters, heel spurs and metatarsalgia.
Her injured feet affected her posture and over time, she was diagnosed with double curvature of the spine.
One morning, en route to the hospital, she walked past a small child playing alone on the well-manicured lawn of her stately home. The child waved shyly at Mama, who smiled and waved back to her. From then on, whenever Mama passed that house, the little girl was waiting for her.
Soon they began talking. Mama explained that Daddy was recovering in the hospital which was why she took that route every morning.
One day, the girl was waiting at the edge of the lawn with her hands behind her back. When Mama stopped to say hello, the child handed Mama a bouquet of violets she had picked from her lawn.
"Here," the girl said. "Take these to your Daddy."
Mama leaned over and buried her face in the violets. "I think this is the sweetest gift anyone has ever given me and whenever I see violets from now on, I'll think of you."
The child smiled, then her expression changed to sadness. "How come your feet look so bad? Do they hurt? They have sores on them and sometimes I see a little blood."
Mama looked down at her shoes where she had cut holes to allow her little toes to push through and give Mama some pain relief. Embarrassed, she made a lame excuse that she must have forgotten to change into her good shoes before leaving home. The truth was, these were Mama's only shoes.
The next morning, the child was waiting for her with her mother beside her. The young woman greeted Mama and said, "My daughter has grown to love you. She's told me all about you and I need to apologize for what she said to you yesterday. I don't want to embarrass you but I have several pairs of shoes I no longer wear. I know some people don't like to accept charity but I felt God was leading me to offer these shoes to you."
Mama smiled."Oh, I don't have a problem accepting charity. I view it as a gift from God, an answer to prayer during these difficult days we're living in."
The woman replied, "I have four girls as you do. I wonder if your daughters could use some shoes my girls have outgrown. If you'll stop by on your way home, I'll have the shoes ready for you."
Later, when my sisters arrived home, they danced with Mama around the boxes of shoes. In one box was a note:
"Isaiah 52:7 says, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.' While this refers to spreading the gospel, it could be applied to you for walking to the hospital every day to bring love to your husband and also sharing your love with my daughter. Yours in Christ, Jennifer."
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.