Falling down has so many definitions. Leaders fall down. Whether they are world leaders or Christian leaders, from Bill Clinton to Jimmy Swaggert, we’ve seen examples of falling down.
Falling down can be the daily struggle for toddlers trying to master the art of staying upright. Sometimes they laugh, sometimes they scream unmercifully at the response to their traumatic boom. They loved the comfort of an adult to help them through their tough time.
There is the childhood falling down on the playground. Oh my! I remember my bout with the merry- go- round in 3rd grade. I fell and in a typical manner of how I do things “I didn’t let go!” I went around a few times hanging on for dear life until someone had the foresight to notice and stop the thing. There I was with bloody knees, hardly any layers of derma left. It took months for the scabs to heal.
Then there is the physical falling down we experience as adults. When this happens it always blind-sides us. One of my worst spills was falling forward down a flight of stairs… 3rd-floor mind you. This event was in the full view of the many visitors on the 2nd level below on their daily tour of Focus on the Family. Of course, the first thing I did was jump up to see if anyone noticed. Then when the people that did notice tried to help what I do? I insisted I was alright and calmly refused their assistance. I gave the appearance I had planned the whole thing. It was just a simple part of my well-thought-out day!
Last Friday, while walking with a client down a gravel road doing one last experiential exercise that leaves them feeling their freedom, I had such an incident. I made the mistake of not hearing my Holy Spirit husband’s voice as I walked out the door for work. “Are you sure you want to wear those shoes?” He gently asked. I did a rebuke in my mind! Why would anyone question my dress-down- day shoes? My Colorado jeans were my favorite Friday attire, along with my platform bling flip-flops. Why, I was stylin’ and excited for this day for my client. Yes, I wore the shoes.
Well, you can guess the rest. In the middle of one of the exercises for releasing the past, my foot landed on an unstable piece of gravel. I felt myself tipping, I tried to correct and get my balance. It was a beautiful ballet move that went on going to the dark side. I literally slid on the road using the palms of my hands as my brakes. I eventually ended up on one knee that bore the entire weight of my body, (not a pretty picture).
To my horror, embarrassment, and chagrin at my client being unable to experience the full effect of her “day of final release,” I sat in the middle of this dirt road rocking back and forth in pain as we assessed the damage. She also didn’t know what to do but she did a great job of hopping-to and coming to my aid…running to get a car that served as a make-shift ambulance back to Sanctuary.
It’s been a few days and I’m still a bit sore in various places. The skinned places are healing. I am processing through the spiritual implications of this event. I was amazed at how caring everyone was as they helped me through my fall. Sanctuary staff, my client, my husband, upon my arrival home… at every point in the aftermath, someone was there to speak kindly to me and offer their assistance.
I thought of others in their times of falling down and going boom and feeling the incredible brunt of it… looking at this as an allegory of life… being alone when down on the ground, now that is the epitome of isolation and unbearable pain. We all need helped-up and tended to when we fall down and go boom. Some things never change. Whether we are toddlers or senior citizens it is all the more painful when no one is there to share our most humbling and hurting moments.
I am so grateful for this reminder… we need each other when we are down on the ground with bumps, bruises, and bleeding palms. A lift up and kind words when we fall… there is no price to put on the value of that!
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