High heels and handicaps


I recently wanted to wear them to a fancy party.  I knew it wasn’t practical, but, I had this beautiful red dress that just screamed for these shoes.  I have a closet full of shoes I cannot wear. I especially cannot wear boots.  Can’t even walk from the bedroom to the kitchen in them because they are too heavy. But, these shoes are light.  I’m only five feet tall, so if I’m going to wear a long dress, I really need high heels.  Myasthenia gravis causes fatigable weakness. That means the more I use my muscles, the weaker they get.  I am able to get out of the car and start walking and I am fine, for a few steps.  I can’t walk far. I know wearing high heels looks bad, but I am so tired of wearing flats.  The weight of the shoe is more important than the height. So here I go, high heeled and handicapped.


I suspect you are guilty, too.  I have frequently judged others by outward appearance.  I guess that is why I am so self-conscious.  Recently, I was able to go to the store, which is an enormous challenge for me now.  Walking in from the parking lot, up and down a few select aisles and back to the car is rarely possible.  Then add the demand of removing items from the shelf and placing them in the cart, it wears me out.  Lifting groceries respectively from the cart to the conveyor belt is out the question, so I just ask for help.  Sometimes I park in the designated handicapped parking.  Sometimes I don’t.  On a recent outing I didn’t.  Obviously, if I was going to the store, I felt particularly strong.  The problem is I am overly ambitious and my strength is limited.  I tried to pace myself and walked annoyingly slow.  I barely made it back to my car and began to get too weak to load my little bag of groceries.  My strength was spent.


The corral was not far away by your standards.  It might as well have been  at the top of Mt. Everest for me.  I simply could not do anything about it.  So I left it beside my car and drove off.  It particularly disturbed me.  I experienced shopping cart shame.  Within one week I saw a social media rant about “healthy” people not returning shopping carts to the corral, leaving them in the parking lot to potentially damage our precious vehicles.  It hit a nerve.


I shouldn’t have.  Surely you can relate to that guttural impulse to make your case. I look perfectly healthy.  I have an “invisible” illness.  Muscle weakness cannot be seen by others.  Someone I do not know replied.


Great question.  Simple answer.  Because I have personally been guilty of judging people in my own heart.  I’ve seen people who look healthy and accused them of being lazy, or worse, inconsiderate.  Now I have a completely different perspective.  We are only capable of looking at the outward appearances.  Appearance cannot tell the whole story.


He alone is able to rightly judge.  He sent Samuel to visit Jesse to anoint a king. Jesse had some big, strapping, good looking sons that fit the bill perfectly for a king.  They would have been obvious choices.  God rejected them.  He plainly told Samuel that He looks at the inner man. He chose the unlikely, younger son, David.   God seems to delight in choosing the unlikely.  If He chose the righteous, the talented, the capable; then His power would not be on display.  Instead, He looks at the heart and sees:

the willing rather than the winners

the failures rather than the fabulous

the potential rather than the powerful


The next time you see someone parking in a handicapped space, or riding an electric scooter who doesn’t fit the mold, consider that they have a hidden illness rather than assuming anything.  Then remind me sometime to tell you about the time I went ballistic  in the grocery store parking lot when I saw a woman let her cart roll into my brand new car.

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  1. Lov your blogs!!seems that you know so well what is in my heart!! So many many times people say ,, o you look so good,,, well when I really feel like death warmed over!!have learned to just smile and say thank you. So many people judge by appearance only,, if they only knew the invisible !!!all the energy,strength ,determination ,pain, and pure stubbornness to required to accomplish minor task!, keep on blogging sister!!glory to The Lord

  2. Oh girl I love high heel shoes, but like you I have had to give them up. Between Parkinson’s and a new hip, I cannot safely walk in them anymore. There are days that I have worn them anyway, and like you, I suffered for it. It seems like all of us at one time or the other “put on appearances”. You are an inspiration to us all, keep up the good work and I and we will pray for you. Karen

  3. Such great insight and wisdom. Love the shoes BTW! You are giving us such an incredible gift with your posts. Remember to link them up!

  4. Hey Vickie, all of a sudden my mother had to have a walker the other day when I took her to the dentist–hip problem. I have never parked in a handicapped place, but I did yesterday at the dentist. I would have DARED someone to say anything to me! I am going to have to get a permit for when I take her anywhere! But you are correct–we are so quick to judge. I have an autoimmune disease that carries joint pain and fatigue. I have felt the same way at Kroger in Benton. The parking lot slopes upward from the store and at times, I have had to park right next to Military. By the time I get a running start and make it to the top of the hill, I am done! I don’t have a hc permit, but if I did, I can imagine what people would say. So I don’t even pay any attention to who is parked in those spaces. Just another part of judging and sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong! Rant over! Just think God expects us to sweep around our own back door!!! We never know what burdens other people are carrying!!

  5. Oh my goodness!!! I read this post this morning and did not have time to comment because of a Dr.’s appointment. But I have pondered it all day. And as I was on my way home, tonight, I stopped at a Wal-Mart. What I saw in the parking lot just made me giggle to myself, involuntarily.

    I saw a car with a “handicapped” license plate parked in a “handicapped” parking space (the kind with a post in front with the sign, so you cannot pull forward out of that space) and directly behind this car were not one, but two carts, left where someone just could not keep walking anymore! I thought of you, of course, and really thought it must have been lazy and mean people who would do such a thing to the handicapped driver. Really.

    And I thought it incredibly ironic.

    Anyway since I was on my way into the store, I grabbed one and took it in with me. I did not try to round them both up, because it was pouring rain. After I got inside I began to feel shopping cart shame because of someone else’s cart!

    And then I sort of giggled again, thinking of someone coming out to find that, and wondering why there was a shopping cart left behind his car.

    And why there weren’t two! 😉

  6. This blog is a fantastic read!:)

    We are all looking after the same thing. To be loved . To be accepted. And to understand the difference.;)

    Thank you for sharing your walk with us!;)

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