As within

So without

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Not our faith

There are numerous reasons why I left Christianity. The journey was 32 years before I finally said, “Enough.” As a black American, it’s simply not our faith. Christianity in America, by and large, was introduced to, and forced upon enslaved Africans. We were not allowed to practice our religions from our villages in Africa. It’s the slave master’s religion, and I recognize it as such. Being told I’m evil, serving Satan, and going to Hell are no longer compelling reasons for me to stay in something that I no longer want. And all Evangelicals have as a bargaining chip/blunt instrument, is Hell. They become petulant elementary school playground bullies, threatening to sick their god on me instead of the time-honored threat to ‘bash my teeth in.’ I’m done. If there is a God and an afterlife, my part in that is between me and the deity. It’s no longer anyone else’s business, and it really never was. I reject the agency of the church over my relationship with the divine.

Pain’s absence

When constant or chronic pain goes away suddenly it feels weird.

Sometime in 2004 I started having a problem with the right edge of my right foot a few inches from my toe. I’d step on something and hit that spot and have to stop and let the pain subside. It was so bad I went to a podiatrist. He diagnosed something he called a bone prominence and suggested opening my foot and shaving down the bone. I was apprehensive about that because there’s no undo for things like that. Then my mother suggested seeing another podiatrist she had worked with for a second opinion. So I booked an appointment. She made X-Ray slides of the foot, something the other doctor hadn’t done. Then examining it she said she wasn’t convinced of the other diagnosis and that it looked like a clogged sweat duct.

Because of the way my feet hit the ground when I walk and the fact that I hadn’t been using any lotion or oils on them, bits of skin filled one of the sweat ducts on that foot and started pressing against the bone. Whenever I stepped in such a way that pressure got applied to that spot, I felt pain. After having her scrape it with a scalpel over a couple of appointments and applying lubricants to my feet, the problem cleared up…until earlier this year.

A few months ago I had another flare-up in the same spot. These start with friction in shoes. I have had a habit of wearing shoes far past their usefulness. I wasn’t in a position to start replacing shoes when this occurred. So I put up with it…for months. Then at some point a spot developed on my left foot in a different location. In June I began the process of selling my house. So that had me in a hurry…in and out of the car…stepping up on things…carrying things while walking.

It was hard.

And it ended August 3rd.

Well I replaced the shoes and I went back to the podiatrist. She took care of the problem on my right foot but the one on my left was problematic. It took a few more visits and my putting Shea butter on my feet to finally get that cleared up. Until about 3 weeks ago I was experiencing pain nearly every time I moved my foot. Even though my shoes were new, my foot hurt more in a couple of pairs than in others.

Now that the duct seems to be clear, I’m no longer feeling the pain. But it feels weird. The memory of it and the apprehensiveness to put weight on it, anticipating the pain is still with me. Hopefully that will fade. The plan is to replace my shoes every year to 18 months and keep applying the Shea butter to my feet.