Compassion in Tennis Shoes
Maybe you’ve heard about Lifeline’s Walk for Life 2018. So what’s the big deal? Why Walk for Life? Why not just donate and share pro-life articles on Facebook? While giving and spreading awareness are vital to the promotion of Abundant Life for all, it doesn’t have to stop there.
Many of us take it for granted, but walking is kind of a complicated process. Just think of the physics and physiology involved. If you really want to know more about the science of walking, Khan Academy has provided us with a riveting synopsis:
“Walking is energy efficient. In a walking human, one leg swings forward while the other leg’s foot stays planted on the ground. When walking at natural speed (defined below), the swinging leg uses muscle force to move forward and immediately relaxes, allowing the force of gravity to move it to the ground. Simultaneously, the planted leg moves forward with largely passive rotation at the hip. The plant leg only needs to stay straight and the swinging leg’s knee only slightly bends to allow it to pass underneath the body.
The swinging leg can be modeled as a physical pendulum: a thin uniform rod of mass m rotating about a point a distance r from its center of mass. Swinging freely under gravitational acceleration g, such a physical pendulum with moment of inertia I will swing with a period T : T=2π √ I/mgr.”
You don’t have to know physics to know that walking is amazing. God did a remarkable thing when He created the human body. So what if we used our bodies to give back to Him? By participating in the Walk for Life, we incorporate our whole selves into our support of all human life. Not just our brains. Not just our mouths. And not just our hands reaching for our checkbooks. Everything. Legs swinging, heart-pumping, feet meeting the ground, and eyes soaking up everything along the route. By walking, we make our values visible. Jesus reminds us in Matthew 5 that people don’t hide lamps under baskets, but let them shine for everyone to see, “so let your light shine before others.” Even if it’s just a handful of passersby around Truman’s campus, people will ask, “What’s happening?”
And you can let them know: what’s happening is compassion in tennis-shoes. What’s happening is a group of men, women, and children using their whole selves in order to love other men, women, and children who need help. What’s happening is life, and life isn’t just for sitting and thinking; life is for using everything you have to know and love God.
Some of us know full well that walking is a gift because that gift was taken away. Whether it was because of injury, genetics, or age, a two mile walk around Truman’s campus might not be a possibility for you. Don’t let that stop you. Wheel for Life. Walk five steps for Life. Whatever you can do, do it for the LORD. Truly, He’ll be so delighted by your willingness to serve Him and His Kingdom with everything you’ve got. Everybody is valuable beyond measure. That’s what Lifeline and this Walk is all about.
If you haven’t registered yet for Lifeline’s Walk for Life 2018, it’s not too late! Sign up here, sponsor a walker here, and adopt a route sign here. We’d love to have you join us as we exercise our whole selves in Christ’s love.
By Kathryn Crane
Resource: Khan Academy https://www.khanacademy.org/
Figure 1: Leg positioning. Plant leg in blue, swinging leg in red.