Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Walk to Remember

“When people meet you once, they never forget you Jenny.”

I’d like to believe that if that statement is true, it’s because of my smile or my surprisingly witty sense of humor.  Perhaps people are drawn to me because I’m “MN nice.”  I’ve been told that I can relate to almost anyone.  

In reality: I think people remember me because I walk differently.  I limp.

I wish people didn’t notice my unique gait because there are times when it gets awkward—like when I need to purchase a bottle of wine from a liquor store.  On occasion, the clerk will look at my ID and stare me down.  I can see the gears turning in their head:   What is this woman doing here?!  She’s already tipsy and she has the audacity to come in the store and purchase another bottle of wine?  Do I say something, or do I let it go?  Despite the look in their eyes, no one has ever said anything to me, but it’s an uncomfortable moment for both of us. 

I want an ID that reads I'm not drunk, I just have CP.

I’ve decided that if something ever happens, I’ll run to the car and show them my parking permit, “for persons with disabilities.”  That should settle the issue immediately.  As a courtesy, for both myself, and the cashier, I try to shop at the same store so that people can get the idea that I always walk this way!  I’d love an endorsement on my driver’s license that reads:  I’m not drunk, I just have CP.

Today I was again challenged by the way my walk is perceived and remembered by others.

This morning I went for a walk at the Albertville Outlet mall.  Near the end of my stroll, a cashier who works at a grocery store in town noticed me from afar, and recognized me from her check-out line.  I was pretty bundled up, so my only conclusion is that she knew who I was because she could see the way I was walking.  I tried to tell myself that it’s not the reason, but with the 100s of people who check out groceries, and infrequency that I shop at her store, her instant recognition had to be triggered by the way I move.  (Note to self:  Never become a spy, your cover will be instantly blown.)

As I got in the car, I was a little disappointed, wishing I could remain a little more anonymous, a little more normal, and a little less distinct.

Then I had an epiphany.    

People notice and remember me for the way I physically walk, but do they notice me for the way I walk spiritually with God? Do I walk with Him in a way that is memorable and transparent, causing people to wonder what makes the steps I take so unique?  

1 John 2:6 says  Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.  Today I am inspired by my own kinesiology.  Today my prayer is that my walk with God is as distinct, transparent, and memorable as the one you see every time we meet.

Let’s keep walking like Him!

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