“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns." Isaiah 52:7, ESV
“God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places. "
Through the Bible: Isaiah 49-53
I have very ugly feet. I thought about including a picture, but if I did, this would be the first blog I’ve written that would include a warning label for offensive content Seriously, they are that ugly.
But they aren’t just ugly. They are weak. When I was at kids camp last week at the University of West Alabama, I walked an average of nine miles every day. And, oh, how my feet hurt at the end of that week. I was reminded that I am no longer a 20 year old college kid/summer staffer. I’m an old guy with ugly, tired feet.
So I love the Scriptures like Isaiah 52:7 that tell me I have beautiful feet. Or Habakkuk 3:19, which assures me that the Sovereign Lord can give me feet like a deer. Strong. Able to stand on the heights.
The key to beautiful feet is not a pedicure. Beautiful feet, from God’s perspective, come from where you let your feet take you. When you use your feet to bring good news to the world, God will pronounce even the jankiest, fungi-est, smelliest, bunion-i-est feet beautiful.
The key to strong feet is not Cross Fit. Strong feet, from God’s perspective, are the result of letting God, the Lord, be your strength. We don’t get strong by trying harder. We get strong by letting God lead us.
And he will lead us to hard places. This week, I read the story of Jackie Pullinger, a missionary who has spent over fifty years working with prostitutes, heroin addicts and gang members in a section of Hong Kong known as the Walled City. She writes that in 1966, as a twenty-one-year-old music college graduate, she bought a ticket on the cheapest ship she could find, calling at the greatest number of countries, and prayed to know where to disembark. When she saw the Walled City, a high-rise slum in Hong Kong, she felt the Lord saying she had come home. She wrote:
‘It was almost as if I could already see another city in its place and that city was ablaze with light. It was my dream. There was no more crying, no more death or pain. The sick were healed, addicts set free, the hungry filled. There were families for orphans, homes for the homeless, and new dignity for those who had lived in shame. I had no idea of how to bring this about but with “visionary zeal” imagined introducing the Walled City people to the one who could change it all: Jesus.’
The quote that stuck out to me the most was when Jackie wrote,
God wants us to have soft hearts and hard feet. The trouble with so many of us is that we have hard hearts and soft feet.
Beloved, may we have soft hearts that lead us to hard places! Those hard places may be right in your own hometown! Lord, give us a vision for how we can reach the “Walled City” within our own community.