I've been going through a new round of physical therapy (PT). Each round of PT is different and helps me with something to do with standing or walking. Each physical therapist has their own ideas, and they are all innovative and creative. Generally, they find ways for me to work on standing and walking better.
The sermon at church last week (yup, I do listen to them) was, in part, about our pastor and his job as a teenager which involved mowing huge fields. The field would be beautiful and the thought of mowing it seemed like it would make the field less beautiful. But when it was done, the field was beautiful, just in a different way. And then there were other steps where the field was beautiful, but at the end of each step, the field was still beautiful, but in a different way.
I later was thinking about how I am learning to walk again. One of the hardest parts is when people who don't know me, or who knew me long ago before MS, see me. My walk, I told my physical therapist, isn't a real walk. It's improved so much from 4 years ago, but it still is a bit, well, ridiculous to some people who see me.
This Saturday, at the MS Walk, I might be interviewed and might be on TV... related to the Bioness bionic devices on my legs. Again, I told my physical therapist, I think people think that people strap on the Bioness... and boom! They walk just like everyone else. So, I said, my walk looks ridiculous... not impressive.
I've been thinking about how the field got mowed and became more beautiful. In a strange way, learning to walk gets more "beautiful." I started mostly in my wheelchair, and I mostly leave it behind now to walk. To me and some others who know me, that itself is beautiful, even though it was replaced by an ugly walk. Each round of physical therapy seems like taking a bit of a risk to see what can happen. So far, each step has resulted in a less-ridiculous looking walk, or, alternatively, a more beautiful walk depending on perspective. There's a choice to leave the old behind and try something new. And it makes me think a bit about the field being mowed. How far will I go? I don't know. I actually think God doesn't know, but God takes me through the different "steps."
Back to the interview... it's to me, a risk. I told my physical therapist that it's not like I will just stand up and poof! Walk!! She nodded. There is so much to walking. My legs are now much better. The ridiculous part of me walking is me being bent. After that, it's an enormous sway going back and forth. It's ridiculous. And ridiciculous can be televised!
My physical therapist had a different perspective after I informed her 2 teammates had invisible MS. She remembered 2 people from when she was in college, people with MS, who couldn't walk at all. One was in her forties and the other in her fifties. And maybe my ridiculous walking is meant to reach a different group of people - maybe some people will see ridiculous. But, she said, maybe lots of people will see possibility, going from 10 steps to something more. And to that group, maybe the ridiculous walk will actually be beautiful. Maybe it will give them hope.
As a sidenote, you jst never know whar people are thinking about a sermon in church!