The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen
It’s a limp.
Not a limp in the discomfort manner, but a limp in the “it is simply physically impossible otherwise” sense. Very unfitting for someone who lived to be fit enough for anything.
It’s a conversation piece—that big walking boot that recently replaced that cast and crutches that preceded it. People usually have one of four reactions when they see the injury (or a nasty combo of a few): pity, curiosity, support, or amusement. But no matter what the reaction, the action is always the same—to say something.
“Oh, I broke my ankle last year, still hurts everyday.” (Oh, that’s nice to look forward to).
“What did you do? Are you a soccer player that got sent home from the World Cup early?” (At least I still have one leg that makes me look like an athlete).
“My, that looks like such a drag. Ruining your summer isn’t it?” (That thought hadn’t occurred until you just made me realize that yeah, things could be better).
The personal favorite,
“Ouch.” (Thanks for reminding me).
And the twisting knife,
“You know, you will probably never run again.” (… )
That one hurts. It hurts in the same helpless way that the incurable limp does. It’s sharp. It makes my eyes shoot downward and it chokes out the air in my lungs and it snuffs out the little light I had inside.
They think that they are just saying words, offering advice, maybe even helping me in some roundabout way. Their intentions are not malicious. They don’t know that the banner they are trying to hold for me is upside down.
So that’s why I have to turn my head to read it the right way.
Everyone in this world has experienced hurt. The superficial physical kind that leaves the big, ugly scars and the kind that hurts our heart and leaves even uglier scars. Those are the kind that take us like leaves of paper and crumple us up. We are still the same pieces of paper, that any story can be written on, but those creases will never be smoothed out.
And a crease is a crease. Just like there is no degree to how bad that crease is in the paper, there is no degree of how “bad” the hurt is. Hurt is hurt. There is no measurement or scale. From the little boy who dropped his ice cream cone on the ground, to the runner who cannot run, to the mother that will never know if her child would be the smartest in the first grade. The one thing that they wanted is gone. And that just hurts.
It’s so simple to think that your hard times are harder, that no one who has had different experiences could ever understand what you are going through. It’s easy to feel sorry and pitiful and isolated.
That is why it is simple to give up.
You aren’t seeing everyone around you who are making their way from hurt to healed every day.
When you let others hold you, the limp isn’t so evident.