I hate pictures of feet. I took one of my big toe to demonstrate the point I wanted to make here, but no one should have to see that. Really. I saw too many feet pictures this winter. Feet at the beach, feet in the sand, feet apparently enjoying the ocean. They annoyed me.
So I won’t show you my chubby big toe. You’re welcome.
But I am gonna write about it.
You see, I was in a wedding not long ago, and part of the requirement for being in a wedding (perhaps it is a perk, I have not decided yet), is to have all ten of my digits scraped, soaked, picked at and painted. Yeah, pedis/manis. Not sure how I feel about them.
When I was a kid, I’d never heard of such a thing. Seriously. No one I knew painted their toenails let alone paid someone to do it for them. Now, it is quite common for some, so much so that there is a collective gasp in the salon when there is a pedicure-virgin nearby. I was one not too long ago. But those days are gone now. And since then, I’ve had a few. Literally, like three. Some tickled, some left me bleeding, and all left me perplexed at our culture. Really, watch the way people treat the guy picking the toe-jam out from under their toenails.
But, I digress. The chipped toenail. It made me panic for a moment. I had sat for too long getting that thing painted to have it look bad so soon. I needed it to be fixed immediately! I paid darn good money for that toenail perfection! What if I put my sandal on and someone saw that. They might be disgusted. They might think less of me.
And then I came back to reality. And put my sandal on and the world survived the horror.
We spend so much time creating prettily painted facades, don’t we? Our make-up, the car we drive, our clothes, or our lawn. We are all guilty.
Prettily dressed up image.
As we have spent months preparing our house to sell, we were forced to make changes to it based on what sells. What most people like. Most people don’t like crazy, beautiful vines all over the front of their house. Most people like shrubbery. So we gave most people shrubbery and chopped down all of our beautiful vines and all the birds had to find new homes this spring. Most people like neutral colored walls, so we painted and fussed and made some rooms more like most people and less like us.
Honestly, our family has learned how to be round pegs in a world full of square holes. Doing the different thing and taking the risk to stand out can sometimes come at a hefty cost.
Chipped toenails and zero mowable-lawn-space honestly horrify some people. As does choosing to homeschool and being called to worship outside of the church walls. It makes people want to fix you in the worst way. And definitely treat you like you’re broken.
But, we are living out freedom and throwing off societal norms and trying not to be defensive when people who haven’t even asked how we are doing, hand us Bible tracts. Nice to see you, too, by the way.
And reveling in the fact that it’s the very same thing Jesus did! He threw off societal norms and listened only to the voice of His Father and hung out with real people and only got super angry at the folks with perfect pedicures and pedigrees.
Excuse me, ma’am, there’s a camel in your tea.*
So, perhaps I sound a bit defensive–even chippy. It’s been said before. Perhaps I am.
But, perhaps it’s worthwhile to defend a difference that has been required by One greater than I; that has wrought its own pain and exacted its own cost and doesn’t need an opinion added to the mix.
Annnnnd, perhaps it’s not worthwhile.
So I’m just gonna strut this silly little toenail anywhere it wants to go because chip or no chip, no matter what anyone else thinks, it’s what I’ve got.
And I changed my mind…
Here’s my toe. And some words to back it all up.
*Matthew 23 (seriously, read this whole chapter sometime)–You are like a person who picks a fly out of a drink and then swallows a camel!…First make the inside of the cup clean, and then the outside of the cup can be truly clean.”
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