Words rattle around in the mind like pebbles that have been scattered over a stone floor. Plunk, plunk, plunk. Then, that floor has to be walked on. Ouch, feet hurt from standing on the stones. Over time, the feet become calloused and we forget to even pay attention to the stones that originally called pain. Words and stones, they can both bruise and build, especially unnoticed lies and unfamiliar truths.
Unnoticed lies occur to each of us. These are the sneaky and subtle lies that are inflicted on each of us from time to time. They are the lies of failure, discouragement, loneliness, and the absence of God. The little words that are whispered in our ears that say, “No one else has ever felt this way. Nobody else has problems with this. Stupid, failure, weak.” The words separate us from each other and from God. It is not that we are perfect, but that this is not the answer to improvement. Instead, these words are like the stones on the floor. We find ourselves feet bruised with deep stone bruises. Overtime, our feet become calloused. The bruises fade as the skin grows thick protection over the tender nerves.
When the truth is pointed out, it is unfamiliar and feels strange. You are not alone; you are not the only one who has ever struggled. We all have weaknesses, failures, areas where we are not strong. There are consequences, but there are also opportunities. God loves you before you are perfect, before you have everything figured out. Instead of pushing you away, he pulls you in and washes your feet. The calluses are gradually removed. The stones now cause pain and we are reminded that they are lies. We push them away and find that the ground beneath is smooth and cool on our feet.