You know how the apostle Paul complained (well, we wouldn't accuse him of exactly complaining), but you know how he "commented' that he had a "thorn in the flesh" that kept him humble and that God would not remove though he had asked three times. His language was figurative of course and scholars have debated what his "thorn" actually was.
Well this week God has given me a thorn in the flesh. As He rubbed His celestial chin and thought about what it should be, he must have finally run out of ideas, because what He gave me to slow me down was just........a thorn in the flesh. I felt it when I stepped out of bed a few days ago. It's right on the bottom of my foot. It felt like a bruise at first but as the days have progressed a little knot has begun to appear, first deep down and every day moving closer to the surface. I must have stepped on something and it got imbedded in my foot.
It hasn't been so painful as it has been instructive; a little reminder that every day brings its own challenges and every step I take is only by God's grace.
Yesterday was Yahoo Big! Three of us flew to a little village and visited some native friends and the village school. I got a tour by the principal who thought me volunteering there (and substituting) was a grand idea. There are facilities there where I can spend a night or two to make the trip worthwhile. I am anticipating opportunities to get to know the village children and their parents. Everyone I met was so polite and hospitable. We held a little worship service in a classroom of the school last night but we were the only ones who came. Maybe there are women there who may be interested in something like that. They have no church there so anything might be better than nothing.
I walked on the beach with a woman who grew up there but left years ago and now lives in town. She told me stories of growing up there, swimming in the pond (brrrr) and being happy there.
The beach was not sandy but pebbly, totally composed of small smooth stones of granite, agate, jade, lava and other. And it's extremely wide. Tide ranges here average 25 feet. I've never seen anything like it. I saw my opportunity to fill my pockets as if the first Chinese Brother had swallowed the sea just for my indulgence. And I prayed that take-off would not be a problem later on.
What a terrible time to have a thorn in the flesh on the bottom of your foot. It didn't really bother me though as I limped along. I was too distracted listening to the stories and dreaming of what the next few months might hold. When we landed back in Anchorage it was sunset and for the first time since I've been here......I WAS COLD!