Celebrating a Blister

Mattie, 13, came dancing into the den where several of we family members sat. She had great news, she said. Mattie is a very good dance student. She absolutely loves to dance wherever she goes–down the hallway, around the kitchen, into the living room to start dressing the Christmas tree, and of course on stage. So I naturally thought she had achieved some wonderful award.

Actually, she had, but not quite the award I expected. Astonishment is hardly strong enough a word to describe our reaction to Mattie’s announcement. Exposing a reddened ankle, she exclaimed, “I have a blister! I finally have a blister!”

Mattie explained her enthusiasm saying she’d been working very hard to perfect a new ballet step. Evidently the instructor had warned her that a blister in the right place would indicate she’d twirled, pivoted, pirouetted correctly.

Blisters are no fun. Remember those blisters when you got new oxfords in fourth grade? You applied a bandaid which then curled up and made the blister hurt worse. It took a few days to toughen your heels so you and your shoes were comfortable. I’d never considered being at all happy over a blister. But here was my beautiful granddaughter thrilled at discovering she had one on each heel.

Mattie’s excitement over having blisters made me start thinking about other hard and bad things we might celebrate.

Sore muscles after a strenuous workout is reason for celebration. Also, sheer exhaustion after a hard day’s labor or callouses from gardening. There are times when we have tough circumstances that turn out to be very good for us. No circumstances we face are any worse than those of Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie in a Nazi concentration camp. They were confined in a smelly, tight room with many other prisoners. They soon discovered their cots were infected with fleas and the women were all scratching, having trouble sleeping in spite of their exhaustion from hard labor. But it became apparent that the guards totally ignored their quarters because of the fleas. Therefore, Corrie and Betsie could lead their fellow prisoners in Bible study. They learned to celebrate the curse of fleas.

One of the best examples, I think, of joyful hardships is that of a mother birthing a baby. After the baby comes the mother all but forgets the pain of labor as she cuddles a tiny human complete with fingers and toes and depending on his mother for food, safety, and love.

Thinking of the pain and joy of childbirth leads me straight to that amazing night in Bethlehem when Mary gave birth to her firstborn son and named Him, as instructed by the angel, Jesus. Mary must have suffered pain and great discomfort there in a crude cave or stable. Joseph, too, would have been so troubled that he could find no better place for travel-worn Mary to have her baby. But all that hardship was followed with rejoicing. Imagine being blessed by the coming of the King of kings who left His glorious home in heaven to become a helpless baby.

The shepherds on the hillside slept on the hard ground, nursed cold blistered hands, and fought off predators that were after their sheep all through the night. But their pain and danger were rewarded. They would never have received the glorious message from angels in the sky if they’d been home in cozy cots.

Yes, hard things, painful circumstances, difficult times do bring rewards not found any other way. Congratulations, Mattie, for achieving ballet blisters!

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

1 Comment

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One response to “Celebrating a Blister

  1. Revonda Barwick

    Great story! Excellent job Mattie!!!

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