Wednesday, February 17, 2016

From This Point of View, It's Just Feet

One thing I notice perusing Instagram, is the frequent posts of photos looking down at one's feet. There is something intriguing in this perspective of a person's feet planted in the moment. It gives opportunity to imagine the person's journey: where they're going and where they've been. But it is a small window with an extremely limited view. It reminds me of The Foot Book, by Dr. Seuss; “Feet. Feet. Feet. Oh, how many feet you meet!” Photographing one's feet is a fun way to slow down and be mindful of the moment; and when I am looking down I see a lot of feet. But on the journey of reconciliation, Christ calls us to see the end product – transformation of a larvae into a butterfly – a true metamorphosis, not just feet.

I have seen a lot of feet. When I fixate on one part of myself or one area of life with an attitude of discontent or disgust, it is like taking a beautiful walk and looking only at my feet. We do it all the time. We compare ourselves using unrealistic standards and pick ourselves and others apart without looking up to see where we are going. When we chose to follow Jesus we were reconciled to God the Father instantly; yet we began an ongoing journey of reconciliation and repair with ourselves and others.

In Webster's dictionary I found the following definitions of reconcile:

  • to restore to friendship or harmony b: Settle, Resolve (~differences)
  • to make consistent or congruous (~an ideal with reality)
  • to check against another for accuracy

And of repair:

  • to restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken b: to restore to a sound or healthy state: RENEW

I am especially drawn to third definition of reconcile: to check against another for accuracy. The whole journey of reconciliation is based on looking to Him for truth (accuracy). We reconcile our living when we sift it through the truth of His Word and, in times of quiet, listening to the Father's heart. I love knowing I do not have to create a perfect template for myself. Oh how often I have tried. You too? It is like trying to rip apart a cocoon to release a butterfly only to discover a butterfly's personal struggle is its strength. We look around and pick and choose from broken resources to design our own template only to find our unique journey is the one He uses to restore us into His likeness. What is it that keeps us returning to the restricted view instead of God's redemptive plan?

There could be a number of reasons we spend more time looking down, but I think most reasons can fit into a package labeled brokenness and distrust. The wounds we've taken in human relationships have an impact on how we approach God. Our perspective of how others have treated us can damage our self-acceptance and our ability to accept God's unconditional love and grace. Until we invest in healing and repair and gaining a healthier perspective we will struggle not to fixate on our flaws and loneliness.

We are being restored to His original design and intent. So if all I am doing is deciding about self, life and God by looking down at my feet or my flaws, I am missing His eternal perspective. I can't see all He is doing but I can certainly look up, look around and see a wonderful work in progress. Too hard to think of yourself as a wonderful work? Psalm 139 tells us we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” When I allow Him to correct my view of Him and of myself I have “checked against another for accuracy”, for the truth. Look up and see what the Lord wants to do in your life. Feet are important for the journey, but they are not the journey. 


  1. I love Psalm 139 Julie! We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Sometimes we forget that. Even though God had created us unique and special, we don't always feel that way. I love how you said you allow Him to correct your view of Him and yourself. When we know who He is, we can understand who we are. Thanks for sharing this at Faith Barista!

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  3. Interesting insights, Julie. You're right that there are so many selfies of feet and looking down. ha. At the retreat I was at recently, I had a flash of remembrance to LOOK UP. There was a huge stained glass window with the sun shining in so poignantly; I would have missed the Son in that if I had kept looking down. Thanks for sharing this! I need the reminders to look up.

    [just realized I called you Laura in my first comment--I deleted it--instead of Julie because I had just looked down at someone else's email. ha. Craziness.]

    1. I am smiling because it lets me know you are human. I understand! I am so glad you shared about the stained glass window. It is amazing what we miss when we don't look up. I have even been thinking how I might be looking into the faces of people I pass by, people made in the image of God. Another thing to think about.