Monday, August 22, 2011

Broken Feet by Preston Yancey

I haven't known Preston very long, but I've got to tell you, I'm glad to have met him. He writes a tremendously thoughtful blog and it's always a joy to run across those. I hope that you'll enjoy his contribution to the Extravaganza as much as I did!


I prayed a dangerous thing once. I asked God to break my feet because it had become too easy to come to Him.

I was in a space of deep dissatisfaction with my self, with my faith. Things were accepted to readily, I didn’t have enough questions, and the more I evaluated this lack of curiosity the more I realized it had come from a place of pride in certainty. And this was alarming. Alarming because I have never had the kind of faith that wavered much. I have a terrible gift of faithfulness, an almost painful trust in the provision of God. But somehow over the years that convicting, firm belief that saw through storm after storm had evolved and mutated into a pride of will. It had made me better than others, not spiritually different. What had been a gift became disease, slowly atrophying my heart.

It had become too easy to answer, to demand answers from others. God was too easy to fathom.

So I prayed that He would break my feet. I prayed that He would help me understand the beauty of the Infinite, the Unknown.
'Reeve 048693' photo (c) 2007, Otis Historical Archives National Museum of Health and Medicine - license:

A few weeks later, I sat on my bed early staring down at the duvet as if the shards of my life were spread across it. Much had broken in those weeks. Pieces of me lay strewn across the fabric. But I could only pick up a few at a time. Trying to grasp too much of those shards only made the fragments cut deep and pierce to the bone. Life had fallen apart. Life had changed in an instant. I cried out to God demanding to know if this is what it meant to pray for my feet to be broken.

During Morning Prayer I came across this from the Psalm: “The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him; yea, all such as call upon him faithfully. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him; he also will hear their cry, and will help them.”

I wonder if any of us truly know the desire of our hearts. Perhaps they too are mystery, mystery like those things hidden since the foundation of the world. Because upon my bed, the shards of my being, the pieces of a shattered vision, all scattered about, proved that what had been my desire was more what I thought had been my desire than anything real.

Maybe that was what it meant to have my feet broken, to learn that my expectations were not necessarily the deep desires of my own heart. I may bear my soul within me, but I did not author it. Only the Author knows the intricacy in full.

So I prayed a different prayer then. I prayed that God would keep me safe, safe as I stepped out into the world in search for answers. Or perhaps not answers. Questions.

Yes. Keep me safe while I learn to ask questions. Journey on.

Have you ever prayed a dangerous prayer? Where did that lead you?


Preston Yancey is a senior at Baylor University earning his degree in Great Texts of the Western Tradition with a focus in medieval literature and theology. He also ended up with a minor in Political Science specialized in East Asian foreign and domestic relations, which he contends happened by accident. He makes his home where he can, being found often enough either in an airport or in a car on the way to the next destination, from Waco to Chicago to London to Beijing and beyond. He runs on a diet of caffeine and God's grace. Someone once called him a hipster, which he tweeted. He is a contributing writer to the Good Women Project and keeps his own blog at SeePrestonBlog.


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