The steps of a man are established by the Lord; and He delights in his ways. When he falls, he shall not be hurled head long; because the Lord is the One who holds his hand. Psalm 37:23-24(NASB)
It was very early in the winter morning. The days were getting longer but it was January and still dark at 6:15AM. I had taken a kindergarten substitute job at the school at my church. Being prepared, I had my hands and arms full of fun activities for my class of 9 inquisitive five year olds. Very excited to be “back in the saddle” of teaching I got out of my car and proceeded to walk up the front steps. There is a light on the steps but being between night and sunrise the light had gone out. It had been set on a timer.
I knew those stairs ahead if me by heart as I had been up and down them a thousand times, swept them, cleaned stuck gum off of them, washed them down after numerous Slurpee spills and neighborhood dogs used them for a potty stop, suggested homeless guys not use them for a nap, pulled weeds out of their cracks, I knew those stairs! Walking my usual pace (fast) I navigated the first step then misjudged my gait and, with the light gone, I saw a shadow that looked like the step but it wasn’t. One of my worst fears was being realized (the other is going to jail – I don’t know!) I was falling. Down I went almost like in slo-mo arms flailing popsicle sticks flying, papers everywhere as I tried to fall on my right side. It is not recommended ever to fall on a knee replacement flat out on concrete and my left knee was fairly new. All of these things are flying through my brain at break neck speed (no pun intended). Left knee fall bad, flat face to concrete bad, concussion bad, dignity bruised in case someone sees kinda bad. In a split second I shifted by body slightly right and fell on my right wrist, hip, knee and eyebrow. A shriek came out of my mouth sounding like a wounded baby possum. Have you ever heard a possum shriek? It’s high pitched and very loud.
Gathering my thoughts as I laid there sprawled out on 2 concrete stairs I looked like a human welcome mat. A quick inventory was taken. Right ankle(present), right knee (ouch but OK), right hip (present and OK lots of padding), right wrist (super owie), right eyebrow (that’s gonna leave a mark), glasses did not fare well at all. I thanked God that I did not seem horribly injured, my teeth were in tact and I had fallen on my right side (silver lining).
Getting up I looked around to see if there were any casual observers. None seen I dusted myself off. Papers stayed pretty much within arms length as there was no breeze to speak of. I gathered everything and walked in to the school. Since I was opening that day I was by myself for a while. Looking in the mirror I saw the lenses in my glasses were toast as they did slide across the concrete. They would have to make it through the day. My eyebrow immediately popped out a nice little goose egg and my wrist was hard to bend. Ice was next and then I started to shake and cry. The tears were for the fall not the pain.
As the day went on my eye was turning a lovely shade of purple. No eyeshadow needed for about 2 weeks but I would have a difficult time finding a match for my left eye as that lid would turn shades of purple, black then yellowish brown. The pastor instructed me to go to urgent care to be checked. I went and the wrist was not broken, no concussion just bruised ego.
My fall taught me lessons as I continued to think of this verse and not being hurled head long. It may have seemed that way but it could have been so much worse. We fall in our walk through life. God directs our steps if we allow Him. The verse says “when we fall”. Dear one we WILL fall. As we fall we learn lessons. I learned to watch my step, slow down, purpose to look where I am going. The same is true in our daily walk with Christ. Watch your step, slow down and savor life, purpose to walk in a way that honors God. Tall order? Absolutely. God is the one who holds your hand. When you stumble He will always lift you up. When you fall in to that inevitable pit He will pull you out. You can always come back. There is forgiveness, mercy and renewal. Always. This world has a strong pull. It sometimes seems like we are made of metal and that old world is the strongest magnet ever. Our loving God is stronger and keeps a firm grip on His beloved. Be reassured. You may have a black eye and broken glasses but you will be held in His loving arms. ️