I used to feel bad about my feet. For about 35 years, I felt ashamed, embarrassed, and sad.
Why? By society’s standards, my feet were too long.
No, I mean it. The largest size most shoe companies make are size 10. In recent years, they’ve added size 11. Still too small.
I wear a size 12 and I won’t be offended if the next time you see me your eyes stray downward. It’s o.k. Really.
Never mind that my feet are well in proportion to my height, but you won’t see me wearing ankle bracelets or toe rings. As a matter of fact, I only started wearing capri pants in the past 8 years because I feared they would draw attention to my gargantuan podiatric marvels.
In 2006, filmmaker Nora Ephron (“When Harry Met Sally”) wrote a book called I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman. When I read it, I realized I was not alone because, in addition to my feet, I felt bad about my neck, too.
About that same time, Candice Bergen began wearing scarves to all the awards show.
“Aha! Look at that. Candice Bergen feels bad about her neck, too!” I declared to no one in particular.
Do you have a body part you feel bad about? It’s o.k. to admit it. Most of us do.
Why do we feel bad?
Any variety of reasons.
You were criticized by someone during your lifetime whose opinion mattered to you. A family member, a friend, the most popular but most self-centered girl in school.
Or you compare yourself to airbrushed images in magazines.
(I was relieved when I saw a cosmetic ad recently of the lovely British actress Helen Mirren, age 74, where you could actually see some pores in her skin.)
Or your genetically blessed neighbor who looks as young as her daughter. Or any person or institution that makes you feel any less than the perfect creation you actually are.
I had a revelation about my feet one Sunday during worship service. It was one of those out of the blue occurrences, as if God reached down and tweaked my right ear.
If I could have heard actual words rather than the message to my heart, here’s what God would have said:
“Your feet were specially designed to give you the stability that you need in life. These feet I gave you will take you to all the places I want you to go. These feet, your feet, will let you dance for joy and will serve you well all the days of your life. A smaller pair just would not do.”
I was embarrassed by my shallowness.
The Voice translation of Psalm 139:14 reads, “I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe. You have approached even the smallest details with excellence; Your works are wonderful; I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.”
So, I no longer feel bad about my feet. I love them. Should someone comment on their size, I’ll not be become arrogant and puffed up, I promise.
And for any of us who feel bad about our necks, or any other body part, let’s tape these words to our bathroom mirrors and read them everyday:
Lord, I offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, full of beauty, strength and love. Amen.