Walking on the beach quiets my soul and draws out a peaceful space in my heart and head. When I have the sand between my toes, the noise and troubles of the world come with a different perspective. I think more clearly,and pray more deeply and wait on God, and He is always Faithful to make His presence more palpable.
When I was a child I loved to walk in my bare feet. Whenever time permitted I kicked off my shoes and headed outdoors. I loved to feel the blades of grass under my feet and the smooth sidewalk as I made my way to my friends house. Once there I would savor the feeling of the soft shag carpet or cool terrazzo floors displayed in many of the homes in my neighborhood. For me, walking barefoot equated with freedom.
Shoes were a necessity for church, school and later work, but I was always eager to break free of the straps, buckles and laces, whenever possible . I still kick my shoes off whenever the situation permits. Now in my middle years (okay, maybe a bit past the middle, depending on the endpoint), I have noticed that my feet are toughened , rough and calloused. I chalk it up to a life well spent, and often joke that I could probably walk on hot coals and not even notice, but truth be told, the cute sandals don’t look as cute with all of those tough patches and rough places.
I am not a woman that pampers herself often, so I can count on one hand the number of pedicures I have received. Don’t get me wrong, they are awesome and the work that is done to smooth the rough places before applying the new color or hue to the toes is both relaxing and exhilarating, but I prefer to head to the beach and walk along the varied terrain and let the sand smooth out the rough patches.
Isn’t it interesting that it takes something coarse like sand to smooth out rough places? In my case the rough places developed over time and I wasn’t even aware that it was occurring. I wasn’t aware that my feet were becoming tough and less sensitive and well quite honestly unsightly. I think sometimes life circumstances and choices can have the same effect, we fall into a pattern of relationship or behavior that creates rough spots and may even harden our hearts and minds to matters that we should be sensitive to and responsive to.
At times my heart and mind enter coarse times and seasons, some which have fallen upon me and some of which I have walked right into. Yet when I walk through it with my heart and eyes set upon the Lord, Trusting in His will, there is a smoothing effect in my character. I think of Luke 3:5 “Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth…” (Holy Bible,N.I.V.)
The next time you are considering a pedicure, find the nearest beach instead and go into the presence of His Beauty with an open mind and heart…