Artist’s Lane: The sole and the soul

By Betty Slade
PREVIEW Columnist

I had been swept off my feet. I felt my eyelids grow heavy as my eyeballs rolled upward. My legs were in the air and I was in heaven. No sooner had I felt like someone was about to shut off all the lights, my son “Precious” walked into the house, pinched one of my toes and said, “… and this little piggy went wee, wee, wee all the way home.”

I thought I was going to levitate right then and there. Every nerve in my body was firing as I blurted out, “Go away and let me hurt in peace.”

My friend, a certified reflexologist, grinned and continued working on my feet.

I had asked her to work on my neck. 

She said, “Of course. Sit back and put your feet up.”

“No, not my feet, I need work on my neck.”

I have been plagued with a stiffening in my upper back and a feeling of vertigo. My shoulders freeze and my neck tightens, then the room begins to sway. 

As I reclined back in the chair, my friend explained the theory behind pressure points in the feet and how they correspond to various parts of the body. 

I squirmed and kicked from the jump. As my friend began to work her fingers, this little piggy wanted to squeal. 

I marvel at those who give pedicures. Why would anyone want to work on another person’s feet? All things considered, I was due for a lesson about how the tootsies roll. Apparently, feet can tell more about a person than many realize. 

“I can tell what’s going on in your body through your feet.” My friend explained the connection to each part of the body as she worked on them. “Anatomically, all of your organs are represented in the bottom of your feet.” 

Jolts of electricity shot through my body as she moved from my toes, across the pad of my soles, the arches, then to my heels.

Reflexology releases stress and tension — reduces headaches, improves blood and nerve supplies. It can improve your brainpower, nerve function and even fight depression. All of that can happen, although the outcome takes time. 

At the end of my session, I walked away with a bit of a limp. I was dizzy and still out of alignment. But, interestingly enough, something in me seemed to wake up. 

My friend explained that the body can take time to heal, much in the same way it takes time to break down. 

I told her, “I see a spiritual application here. When God is working on one part of us, it affects the whole body. We are interwoven from the top of our head to the bottom of our feet. Not only individually, but as a collective body as a whole.”

Do we know why things that start in order seem to end in such disarray? How did my physical condition go from being spry to doddery?

The root of it all began when I was 20 years old. My Sweet Al and I were hit in our Volkswagen Beetle by a dump truck that ran a stop sign. My body healed itself by fusing two vertebrae together. It is a miracle that we lived.

At 40, I was driving across the Continental Divide. I hit a piece of ice and went over Cumbres Pass, falling straight down 30 feet. A wire fence on the hillside stopped me from going to the bottom of the canyon. Another miracle, but also more damage to my neck.

At 50, I was driving on an interstate highway when I was sandwiched between two cars. Needless to say, the experience left me whiplashed. 

Then there were career choices. I spent 45 years painting, leaning over an easel not realizing that my alignment was shifting at my core. Sitting at my computer writing for the last 15 years hasn’t helped, either. 

As I thought about the path I’ve walked, a scripture kept running through my mind. “We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous is his works. And that my soul knows very well … The days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” — Psalm 139:14-16.

How could “wonderfully made” equate to stiff and creaking? A lesson from the base of my feet explained it all. How amazing the design of the body that it can heal and comfort itself. And all of it from a spark that begins at our foundation. It is no wonder why the purification of the feet was so deeply meaningful to the Ancient of Days.

Final brushstroke: In the midst of a lot of unexpected events, God has created in each of us the ability to walk above those things that try to break us down. While we may not be able to always stand tall or firm, he is working to resurrect us to a fullness that surpasses our own creation. 

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This story was posted on September 9, 2020.