High heels and handicaps

Frequently, I judge others by outward appearance. I guess that is why I am so self-conscious and more than a little sensitive about the subject of shopping carts.


The four inch heels went perfectly with the dress I picked out to wear to the party. I knew it wasn’t practical, but, the red dress begged for these particular shoes. Truth be known, my closet bulges with shoes I cannot wear. Boots are totally worthless because of their weight, my legs aren’t strong enough to walk from the bedroom to the kitchen in them. But these shoes are light and since I’m only five feet tall, I really need high heels in a long dress.

Myasthenia gravis causes fatiguable weakness, which means the more I use my muscles, the weaker they get. You see get out of the car and start walking and I am fine, at least for a few steps, but I can’t walk far. I know wearing high heels looks bad , but the weight of the shoe is more important than the height and I’m sick of wearing flats. So here I go, high heeled and handicapped.


I suspect you are guilty, too. At the risk of stepping on your toes I’ll share my recent trip to the grocery store. Walking in from the parking lot, up and down a few select aisles and back to the car is rarely possible. Add the demand of reaching up the shelf and placing items in the cart, and I’m worn out. Lifting groceries respectively from the cart to the conveyor belt is out the question, so I swallow my pride and ask for help. Sometimes I have sense enough to park in the designated handicapped parking. Sometimes I don’t, especially if I feel strong enought to drive myself to the store. The problem is I am overly ambitious and my strength is limited. Though I tried to pace myself and walked annoyingly slow, I barely made it back to my car. My strength was spent.


The corral was not far away by your standards, but it might as well have been  at the top of Mt. Everest for me.  I simply could not do anything about my empty cart. I hung my head in shopping cart shame and left it beside my car and drove off. So forgive me, I’ve got a raw nerve about people not returning shopping carts to the corral, people who look healthy, people like me.


I shouldn’t have commented on the Facebook rant, but I couldn’t control the guttural impulse. Someone I do not know replied, “Why does this bother you so much?” Great question; simple answer: because I have personally been guilty of judging people in my own heart; accusing people who look healthy of laziness. Nothing like a little personal experience to change your perspective.


We are only capable of looking at outward appearances, which cannot tell the whole story. God 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. God rejected the obvious choices and plainly told Samuel that He looks at the inner man. Throughout the Bible 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 leave their cart, park in a handicapped space, or ride an electric scooter who doesn’t fit the mold, consider they may 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, because I’m guilty too.


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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!;)