I spoke with a friend yesterday about habitual patterns in our lives that lead us into  bondage.  We talked about stories we tell ourselves that cause us to become enslaved and lead to unsure footing as we walk in the world.  It reminded me of the binding of the feet practice that took place in ancient China.  Years ago, the Chinese, had  a practice of binding the feet of young girls.  As these girls grew up their feet became deformed, mangled, tiny and unable to support their bodies.  They could not run or skip or play.  The binding not only caused deformity to their feet, but their entire lives as well.

As we are story-formed, we must see that there are some stories that bring bondage.

They begin perhaps when we are young – still so formative and malleable.

Those stories become the long cloths that bind our feet – pulling our toes back toward our heel – reducing our ability to stand firmly.

Those binding stories cause deformity to our normal growth.  They cause much pain and leave us prone to fall.

The binding, many times, is done by mothers and fathers simply living out familial stories – never questioned, so unseen.

Or perhaps the binding comes from society’s stories – pimple-faced, adolescent stories that sing the virtues of beauty, intelligence, riches, success.  All told without the depth of wisdom.

The sad news for those whose feet were bound in China is that even if they remove the binding, the foot remains stuck.  It cannot expand or stretch out to normals proportions.

For those of us who follow Jesus, however, we know that is not the final story.  For as we remove the cords that bind and present our withered, twisted feet to Him, we know He can heal and has the authority to tell us to “Rise up and walk”.