When asked what I wanted for my birthday in August, I said “just a pedicure” and got the go ahead from my husband.
Since a pedicure is not exactly something someone could wrap in a box and have me unwrap on the big day, it was up to me to make the appointment and get it done. Of course, I dragged my feet about doing it (pun intended, although they were definitely the worse for wear) and bared my naked toenails during all the sandal days of teaching. Four months later, I finally made the time—on Christmas Eve, when the weather outside was frightful and wearing socks and shoes was so delightful.
And I thought, what was the point?
While I enjoyed the luxury of having someone else make my tootsies all prettified and loved seeing my colored nails in the shower, I didn’t think getting a pedicure in December worth the money because no one else would enjoy my showy toes. (And since I can still count the number of pedicures I’ve had using the fingers on just one hand, I still consider a pedicure important enough to show off.)
But it was Christmas, and my mom and daughter could join me, and so my birthday pedicure became a three-generational event. Delightful—and, as it turns out, instructional. Because, as so often happens, God uses the foolish things of the world to teach me His truths.
First, after waiting through those hours of letting the polish dry before hiding my pedicure with my winter wardrobe of socks and shoes, I thought of the children’s Bible song, “This Little Light of Mine.” Harry Dixon Loes’s song includes the lyrics “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine… hide it under a bushel, no! I’m gonna let it shine…” The original song was likely based on Scripture verses in Matthew 5, which talk about Christians being the light of the world, and how, like a city on a hill or a lamp in the darkness, we couldn’t or wouldn’t hide it or cover its light. (If he were writing about painted toenails, I’m sure he would have included “hide them under socks and shoes? No! I’m gonna let them show…)
Of course, I then thought how my pedicure was like my faith—how the luxury of having a pedicure is like the personal comfort and delight I have in my relationship with Jesus Christ—and how the silliness of concealing my beautiful feet afterward is as silly as the selfishness I demonstrate when I keep my faith to myself.
The second truth I learned from my pedicure hit me about a week after the event. As the Christmas decorations came down, the temperatures, miraculously, went up—high enough to coax my tootsies out of socks and into sandals. And that is saying something, because I am a creature that seeks comfort, and I would feel completely justified forgoing sandals in January. But the warmth of the sun—and the knowledge that I had something beautiful to share—gave me the impetus I needed.
And as I attended my son’s basketball game that same day, I took a break from admiring my toenails and watched him play the best game of his life. I realized that his coach—like the sun to my pedicure—has been able to coax more from Adam than my son knew was there. He played with intensity, confidence, and aggression, and demonstrated skills that earned him high-fives and praise from his teammates, coaches and the parents in the stands.
It wasn’t that the potential for that type of play wasn’t present in Adam; it’s just that the coach has been able to coax from my child his best. He has found a way to motivate my child and draw from him more than any coach ever has. And the games that have followed have shown more and more improvement.
My son is far more beautiful to me than a sparkly pedicure—and to see him sparkle with joy and pride because of his coach’s coaxing makes me want to become a better “coaxer.” As a wife, as a parent, as a teacher, as a friend. Whatever role I happen to take for the moment, I want to be like the warmth of a sun that peels away socks and shoes to display the beauty of a pedicure in winter or like the motivation of a coach that drives a player to be the best that he can be. And as a Christian, I want to be that light that draws others to Jesus.
So my verdict on the value of a pedicure in winter?
- Price: Making time and $25 plus tip
- Lessons learned? Priceless