I’m going to tell you a story. It’s a very strange story, but it’s a true story. It’s a story I don’t usually tell, so count yourself as being “in” on a kind of “secret.”
It was the year 2000 and I was months from attending the Christian Booksellers Association International Convention for the second time. The previous year I’d met with an editor and sold my first book idea. This year I would get to see my “baby” in print and it seemed that my ministry was really taking off. I was extremely excited.
Then, one night in February and while at the beach with a friend, I had a most disturbing dream. I dreamt I was at the convention and had just returned to the hotel from a long day “on the floor.” As I stood with a comrade, waiting for the elevator, I noticed a woman standing in the lobby. She had long, wild blond hair, wore her makeup a bit overstated, and—even though she was heavyset—she was clothed in a very short and tight skirt with an equally clinging halter top. My eyes scanned her up and down. There was something not quite right about her; though she was tall, her legs stopped just below her knees. They had literally been severed.
“Who is that?” I asked my friend. “And what happened to her legs?”
Turning to look at her she answered, “That’s the hotel prostitute. They were severed at birth in some sort of accident.”
The elevator doors opened and my friend and I entered. As I turned back toward the lobby I could see that the prostitute was looking directly at me, as though I had something she wanted. Blessedly, the doors closed.
We went on up to our room (and this is the personal part) where I discovered our bathroom was in use by another roommate. I was in dire need of said room, so I went back downstairs to the lobby where I entered the ladies’ room. Inside the stall I became aware that someone else was in the room…and that the someone else didn’t have any feet. As one can only do in a dream, I could see through the door…could see her turning toward me…saw her dip her head downward…downward…as if to look in on me in a sordid way. The stall door began to swing open. “Noooooo!” I screamed, pushing my feet toward her. As I did, she exposed fanged teeth…and prepared to sink them into the flesh around my ankles… The prostitute was trying to steal my feet…because she had none.
The Body Beautiful/Physical
I awoke with a start. Around me the room seemed to be spinning. Looking to the right I saw my friend sleeping in the opposite bed. I sprang up, fighting to catch my breath. Somehow I made my way into the bathroom where I flipped on the light, sank to the floor, and began to pray, “Father, in the name of Jesus…Father, in the name of Jesus…” It was all I could say. Literally.
Eventually the pounding of my heart subsided. I washed my face with cold water and returned to my bed. As soon as I slipped between the cool sheets, a “voice” whispered, “How beautiful the feet of those who bring the gospel of peace.” (Romans 10:15) I began to repeat the scripture over and over and over again until I felt peaceful enough to return to sleep.
The following morning I shared the dream with my friend. “Well,” she said matter-of-factly. “I don’t think it takes a dream interpreter to tell you what that dream meant!”
Indeed. The prostitute represented Satan; my feet represented my ministry. Little did I know that between that moment and the upcoming convention, the enemy would attempt to steal the words I’d been called to carry in a number of ways.
Isn’t it a beautiful picture; tiny feet running up rocky terrain, protected by angels who lift and buoy, in order that a message of love beyond measure, peace above understanding, and salvation for those who least deserve it, should be received?
Those tiny little feet will take a beating, no? What to do? Three simple words: Soak, Smooth, and Soften. Nothing is better for tired, aching feet after a hard day of work, play, or gospel carrying than dipping your feet into a tub of warm water and scented foot soak. Then, if you’re like so many of us, you’ll want to use a sloughing cream and a good foot file to help with the calloused and cracking heels and balls of the feet. Next, use a deep moisturizing cream. Sit down…take your time as you rub, rub, rub. In fact, read what you can on reflexology, an ancient healing art. The science of reflexology states that stress in any part of the foot can be connected to stress in a corresponding part of the body. By learning where and how to apply pressure, one can massage away much of what “ails you.”
Also remember, ladies, that we tend to do the worst damage to our feet by wearing high-heeled, pointed-toed shoes. If you must wear heels for work, etc., go with something low-heeled (doctors suggest no more than 1-½ inches) and square toed.
Editor’s Side Note: According to the WebMD at AOL’s Health Channel , there are eight things you can do to help your “aching feet.” They are:
- Put your feet up when you are sitting or lying down.
- Stretch if you've had to sit for a long while.
- Have a gentle foot massage
- Take a warm foot bath
- Try not to expose your feet to cold temperatures.
- Don't sit for long periods of time (especially with your legs crossed).
- Don't smoke. It hinders your circulation.
The Body Beautiful/Spiritual
Ironically, during the immediate few months after my dream at the beach, I encountered one ministry roadblock after another…many of them having to do with “feet.” I contacted several friends and family members—all prayer warriors—and asked for intense intercession. Eventually the dates for the convention arrived. It was being held—in all places—New Orleans.
I won’t get into everything that happened, but several events occurred during the first twenty-four hours; distressing situations seeming to revolve around my feet. Everywhere I looked I saw evidences of voodoo and witchcraft. (God graciously gave me a moment, however, at Café du Monde where a fabulous saxophone player belted out one hymn after the other, then shared his testimony.) The convention itself went very well…no real problems. Then, on the last night, as I returned to my hotel room, I noticed a little card on my pillow. This came as no surprise; every night since we’d gotten there one of my roommates had placed little “gifts” on our pillows. But this one…well, this one was special. Across the bottom of the card were various styles of shoes, from Victorian lace-ups to contemporary pumps. The message of the card held these words: How beautiful the feet of those who carry the gospel of peace. I knew then that God had supported me all along and would continue to do so…that my work for Him was good and my feet beautiful. But to Satan, I was an ill-fitting shoe!
Just as we have should care for our physical feet, we must care for our spiritual feet as well. Again, three words: Soak, Smooth, and Soften.
Soaking: One of the best things we can do for our physical feet is to rest them. Same goes for our spiritual feet. There are times we are called to rest. Even God rested; both on the Sabbath Day and as man, when Jesus came to earth to dwell among us. As we rest, we allow God to repair us, thereby restoring us in our ministry—whatever that ministry is. Some of us are called to minister in the traditional sense; others are called to an even higher ministry: raising children.
Smooth: Just as we “slough away” the calluses on our physical feet, so we must on our spiritual feet. What, in life, has made you “hard?” Bitterness can set in like a seed in fertile ground. Allowed to germinate, it will sprout like a weed and begin to choke out that which is fruitful. It must be dealt with appropriately, pulled out by the root.
Soften: As we massage away the cares of the world that seems to twist into knots in our feet—softening and soothing the skin in the process—we can do the same with our spiritual feet. Allowing someone to rub your feet is very intimate in nature. Allowing Jesus to “rub your feet” will lead to a deeper intimacy with Him as well. Anoint them with time spent in God’s holy Word. Soften them with prayer. Restore them completely as you engage in intimate moments…your feet in His lap, His hands applying His Word…His Truth…His Presence.
Questions for Personal or Group Study
1. How hard are you on your physical feet?
2. What about your spiritual feet?
3. Have you ever encountered a time when it seemed that Satan was trying to rob you of your ministry? Talk about it.
4. What special treatment do you give your physical feet? Your spiritual feet?
5. How much time do you spend “resting” in the Lord?
6. What anger, resentment, or bitterness has caused your spiritual feet to harden? What do you think you should do to alleviate this?
7. Close your eyes. Can you imagine Jesus massaging your feet? How can time spent within His Word and in prayer help to “massage away the stresses” in your spiritual feet?
Award-winning national speaker, Eva Marie Everson's work includes Intimate Moments with God and Intimate Encounters with God (Cook). She is the author of Shadow of Dreams, Summon the Shadows and Shadow of Light. (Barbour Fiction) She can be contacted for comments or for speaking engagement bookings at www.EvaMarieEverson.com
Other Articles in this Series:
High Maintenance Christianity: Hand in Hand
High Maintenance Christianity: Clothed with Righteousness
High Maintenance Christianity: Is Your Soul Soft Too?
High Maintenance Christianity: Don a Protective Shield
High Maintenance Christianity: Being "Washed Clean"
High Maintenance Christianity