Last Friday was beautiful. The temperature hovered in the mid-70s and huge puffy white clouds painted a soft blue sky. My wife and I were each enjoying a cup of coffee on the back porch as we shared about our week, the kids and what we were learning in our personal Bible study. I looked down and noticed my wife’s feet. They were calloused with chipped red toenail paint. After noticing the obvious wear and tear I started thinking about all that those feet have done. Long before kids and marriage those young feet would prop up on the passenger side dash of my old pickup truck as we drove down the roads of the little town we grew up in. She would beg me to pull into Sonic and I couldn’t resist where those perfectly painted cute little feet wanted to go. A few years later I remember those feet carrying a gorgeous blond in a white wedding dress. It’s amazing, the church was full of people and I can only remember her. Over the years those feet followed me all over the country as a youth pastor. They warmed themselves many times on my leg during cold winter nights. They have climbed the Rocky Mountains while mentoring students and helped build churches and schools in impoverished countries. Then came babies. I’ve seen those little feet so swollen my wife could have worn clown shoes. I have watched those feet quietly sneak out of a sleeping baby’s room many times with multiple kids. Those feet have also carried a broken hearted woman into my arms a time or two. I clearly remember how painful it was when we lost one of our babies or when her grandmother died. Though the feet are a bit more worn these days and I long ago traded my truck for a van, they still sometimes pop up on my dash and even find my legs in bed when they are cold.
Those feet, calloused with chipped paint.
I love them more today. Not because they are perfectly painted and young. I love them because of the journey they have taken.
Here’s to the future with more memories, adventures, and yes… a few more callouses. I am beginning to see – real beauty isn’t something found, it’s something built. I am learning that some of the most beautiful things come in worn packages.