Bike Wrecks and Broken Teeth

The sun pierced through the canopy of trees above, painting irregular polygons in less regular patterns across the asphalt. I had lived but a decade and received a Blue Angel banana-seat bike for Christmas only months prior. My thin legs and long feet pushed and pushed and pushed the pedals in turn, racing my running friends along the road back toward the cul-de-sac, back toward home.

Blue Angelphoto credit

I will probably never know what happened next. Somehow my bike stopped suddenly while my body lurched forward over the handlebars with the inertia pushing me airborne and flailing through the newly warming spring air.

My face collided with the pavement, leaving small chunks of rock and gravel imbedded in my skin.

As I rose to my feet, hesitantly, I surveyed what I couldn’t see but could only feel with fingers and tongue. The road claimed half of my front tooth as it’s own victory for the battle, leaving me with a busted lip and broken nose as my battle wounds.

My Blue Angel was relatively unharmed.

Panic ensued in what was a blur of faces and friends inquiring about my well-being.

“Karin, are you okay?”

I was bleeding not only from nose and lip but also from elbow, hand, and knee. Still, I half-ran, half-hobbled down past six or seven houses to my own door step. My mother met me there with a mixture of shock and amazement and welcomed me into the kitchen to press my face with cold paper towel compresses and whatever ice she could find. She was already phoning the dentist.

A same-day appointment was scheduled, and I made the first of many trips to fix my broken tooth. I wish the dentist could’ve mended my heart as easily as he cleaned the root with mixtures that smelled of bleach and the chewable calcium tablets my dad made us eat each day to ensure our bones were strong.

I wasn’t sure if my lip would ever be un-swollen. I knew my nose would never be the same. I preferred walking to the speed and wind-blowing-in-my-hair feelings of riding my bike. I stayed inside for many days. I grew tired of recounting my adventurous encounter with the road. I became a little more cautious.

More years later than I care to count, those feelings continue to set patterns for my practices. I am more careful than I would like to be at times–longing to let the wind blow in my hair and break free of the monotony of my everyday. But then, I am back on that bike, pounding the pavement, and flying over my bike all over again. I want to call to that girl and tell her that she will heal, that no one will notice the nose, or the tooth, or the scars years from now. I want to tell her that she will have what she needs and most of what she wants. I want to tell her to ride.

Ride into the wind.

We can always pick up the pieces later…

together.

Faith is a Principle of Action

As the mornings get cooler, my love affair with my warm and cozy bed becomes more intense. Recently, after a morning of pressing the “snooze” button one too many times on my alarm (which squished our normal morning routines into about half the time we are used to), I said to one of my daughters, “It took a lot of faith for me to get out of bed this morning.”

I have been taught, “Faith is a principle of action and of power….”

That same morning, my app where I usually do my daily scripture study kept crashing. I tried several times, even moving the app around on my screen, but to no avail. I decided to use an alternate approach through a different app, and I found this video.

It went along with the experience I had earlier that morning, showing that faith is something that requires action. The man in the short film who was healed had to have faith on the words of Jesus Christ, that he would indeed be able to stand, take up his bed, and walk. He had to put faith in Christ and in himself to follow through with and obey (what I find to be basically) a commandment. He put faith and trust in the words and promise of Christ, followed that faith with action, and received power.

I am watching this pattern in my life.

Sometimes, like I said, on cooler mornings, I long for the warmth of my bed. Some days I feel too tired to get up and do the morning rush all over again, day in and day out…but, I have found that as I put my faith in God, seeking to do that work that He would have me do through mothering and loving and living each day (action), I am given strength (power) to move forward (or, on some days, to simply keep going).

How has faith changed you?

Forgive and…forget?

I’ve been pondering the gift of forgiveness lately…and one morning lately, I wondered if “true” forgiveness involves actually forgetting the wrongdoing (or whatever action called for forgiveness).  Can you forgive and still hurt inside your heart?…or inside your head?  Can you remember the pain and still consider yourself to have forgiven those around you?  Do you try to remember and hang on to what hurt you, like tying a ribbon around your finger?

I don’t have answers yet, but I certainly welcome your thoughts.

As always, sending hugs your way.