Caned and Able

Nov 12, 2004Heal from the past

A good friend of mine, Helen, saw the picture below and asked if Patrick now used a cane. Money Matters, a publication of Crown Financial Ministries, will be using that same picture in their internal newsletter in a story about our lives in France and why budgeting has been a blessing to us. When I first saw the picture, I thought the same thing Helen thought. My husband, using a cane. I asked the folks at Crown to please crop the picture.

The truth is, don’t believe everything you see. Patrick is able-bodied, at least at this point, and was leaning on a piece of roller luggage. Although wearing dark glasses might make one think he is blind, he is also able-sighted.

It got me thinking, though. So many of us are caned. And able. We are needy folks, using apparatuses like money or ego or things to hold us up. We venture through life crippled by our accomplishments, leaning on our acclaim. We appear so together. We want desperately for others to see our ability to navigate life.

Yet as in most things in Kingdom living, the opposite is true. Perhaps it is more true than my first thought. I am caned and able. I am needy, sinful, selfish. I am weak. I fail. In all those aspects, I am not able. Only God is. Jesus tells me often, “My grace is sufficient for you because My power is made perfect in your weakness.” The only way I can be caned and able is to have His ability flow through my inability. His words pierce through my nouns and verbs. His love permeate my insecurities.

As Patrick is prone to say, the Christian life is a both/and proposition. I am both weak and strong. I am both shaky and brilliant. I am both shy and proclamatory. I lean on my cane every day, knowing that God does not despise it. If I lean enough, I see His grace change my meagerness into power, into loving enemies, into sharing Jesus with those who have yet to glimpse his beautiful feet.

So, like Patrick, I am caned and able. As I said in an earlier post, I’m a clay pot; Jesus is the splendid power within.