A Spoonful of Salt

Mary Poppins says a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but I prefer the “laughter is the best medicine” approach to life. If any of you have interacted with me face to face in the past year, you’ve more than likely heard me tell the story about the student who ate a spoonful of salt in my house and how hard I laughed at him. Teenage boys can be really dumb, and it makes for great laughter opportunities.

That same kid who dead-eyed me while swallowing a tablespoon of salt has also read the Bible two and a half times in the last ten months, and I couldn’t be more proud of him as he shares insights with his friends and asks questions about how it can help him to live more like Jesus. Sometimes I see the same kids do super dumb and super wonderful actions. Sometimes it’s only two hours apart. I love watching young people grow and stretch as they learn from their mistakes despite the inevitable stumbles ahead of them in life. As Sirius Black once said, “The world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters.”

I had some opportunities this week where I was stretched uncomfortably in my spiritual and emotional health, and when I texted Brandi to tell me the opportunities were of the devil, she told me it was the Holy Spirit convicting me that I need to grow up. I think it’s to keep pace with the physical stretching going on in my calves.

On Wednesday, I got a friend and his son to go down to the school with me and walk my podium back to the house so I can spend more time standing while at home. I’ve kept up with the brace free walking most days as well – praise the Lord I’m not melting in the heat any longer. The adjustment to stretching out my calves is still fatiguing me quickly, but I’m persisting through the tiredness to see improvements in my gait and posture. I know going back to school will take up a lot of the time and attention I’ve been giving to my body, so I want to use my remaining weeks of summer break wisely.

I have a couple friends who’ve already gone on walks with me and noticed the improvements and want to support me in maintaining the physical gains from this past year. Even today at church multiple people commented on the quality of my gait, so I hope to get even better through this year back at school. I’ve got an appointment set up with Anja in September after she returns from holiday, and I can’t wait to work with her again. I happened to see her in the grocery store this week, and after a big hug, we talked about how excited we were to work together again with all these new improvements.

Mike pushed me hard this past year, and Anja’s had years of doing the same. I’m so grateful for the encouragement and expertise of these fabulous physios who want to work hard with me when my life isn’t easy. Unlike the time my student chose to swallow the salt and spent ten minutes retching in the bathroom, I didn’t choose the inconvenience and pain that accompanies paralysis. Instead, like that same kid who recognizes an overwhelming proclivity towards laziness and passivity but asked for challenge and accountability in his spiritual walk, I’ve sought out friends and physios to help me out when the medicine is hard for me. From Brandi pointing out the conviction of the Holy Spirit to Givorgy encouraging me to be a nicer person to Michele chatting with me while pushing my chair alongside me as I walk, I have people who are eager to see me succeed rather than defiantly swallow the salt that will make me sick.

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