The Limp… and the Lion Part 1

     I am in my early twenties working for Express as a manager.  I feel like a fish out of water because all I want to do is talk about Jesus. I am smitten, I am beautiful, and I am in the middle of a serious romance.  The only difference is that my romance is with Him—Jesus.  And talking about Jesus in a place like Express is forbidden– no religion!  No “God talk” because God and Jesus “don’t sell.”

     My manager, however, is awesome.  She is from Europe, speaks French, and puts up with my romance because she is in the middle of her own.  The other managers hate me for it.  I get a ton of eye rolls and gossip and cordially calculated conversation.  That’s okay, because I am in love.  And I’m only telling you about them because the whole Express experience kind of serves as a marker in my life, like those stones they piled up every time God did something cool—an alter of remembrance.

     Then God breaks my leg.

     It is fall, and a famous preacher comes to visit the church we attend.  It’s 1995.  I have the newest “Friends” hair-do and I’m dressed in the latest Express fashion as we make our way to a late night service.  I don’t care how late we stay; I want Jesus.  I want to be healed, delivered, and held.  Instead, I get knocked down. 

     Don’t worry, it wasn’t an evangelistic “mosh pit” accident—No, the church was invited to stand in an orderly line and “receive a touch from God.”  It didn’t matter who was delivering the message, all I wanted was Jesus.  So, when that preacher walked by and barely touched me, imagine my surprise when I fell back and thought, “Did I just hear my bone crack?”   I was caught by someone—someone I didn’t know—and gently laid on the floor beside my husband and friends in perfect little rows. 

     I just laid there, slowly looking from side to side at the other Christians scattered on the floor, and I was wondering if what happened was real or made up.  We probably hung out on the carpet for about a half hour, then one by one we all got up—except for me.  When I tried to get up I couldn’t because my leg felt like it was broken.  Everyone gathered around me and helped me to the Blazer speculating about what God was up to.  I had no idea…

…until a few days later, while I was limping around, I ran into a friend who told me a story about a lamb who doesn’t listen and a shepherd who does. 

     Did you know that when a lamb strays from its flock, the shepherd will go get that lamb?  Have you ever seen those old pictures of a shepherd carrying a lamb around his neck?  That’s because when a lamb doesn’t remain with the flock, the shepherd will go find thee lamb, break the leg of that lamb and drape it over his shoulders. 

     That shepherd will wear that lamb around his neck feeding it, healing it, sleeping with it until that leg heals.  The lamb learns to know the shepherd’s voice—even his heart beat—eats from his hand, and knows his smell.  When the lamb’s leg is healed, the shepherd places a bell around the neck of that lamb and returns it to the flock.  That lamb becomes the lead lamb, signaling to the other lambs the location of the shepherd– always present and never leaving the side of the shepherd.

     At that moment, I understood that God was breaking out of me the things that drew me dangerously far from Him.  After a few days I walked fine, without a limp, but spiritually and emotionally and even mentally I “limped” around weeping, mourning the loss of pride, but rejoicing that I was hearing His voice.  I was tender for over a year as God carried me.

     I could tell you about the many things God broke in me: the fear of man, the pride, the death grip I had on being accepted, approved and right!  Instead, I will tell you this:  God breaks the legs of his lambs because it is the first step toward truly knowing him.  When you’re that close, and that smelly, you know it can only be love!

     Get ready, I’m contagious.  If you’re not limping now, you will be, because He wants you walking steadily with both the Lamb of God, the gentleness of God, and the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the boldness of God. 

     To be continued in Part 2….


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