2013 SE Asia Retreat | Pedicures in Room 723

Posted on: October 17, 2013 Written by
2013 SE Asia Retreat | Pedicures in Room 723
Photography by: Mary Ellen Payken from iStock          
DSC01632Today’s Post by Retreat Volunteer, Marsha Watlington
Pedicures are relatively cheap here in Bali. One can walk half a block from our hotel to get a pedicure from a true professional who will even paint beautiful flowers on your toes. So why come to room 723, sit on a questionably comfortable sofa, and have your feet manicured by women who learned their job two days ago?  I asked  myself this question several days ago as I trained to be a first time pedicurist. I found the answer yesterday as I worked on feet and listened to the global women I ministered to.
DSC01627These women seemed hungry to talk about their lives, the blessings and the challenges.  I heard a lot of stories but the one that touched me most was a woman who was struggling to know how to care for an aging mother with mental health issues. Should they go home to help shoulder the responsibility of caring for her? Then there was the woman in her fifties not only concerned about her elderly parents’ care but about where she and her husband would eventually retire. On the other end of the age spectrum, was the women who, because of a past  delivery issue,will have to return to the US for her baby’s delivery and the dread of raising additional funds to support their expanding family.
As I heard to these stories, I wanted to jump in and do something~take someone’s mother into my home or surely I had some sage advice to share. But that is not what I am here for. I was hear to listen, love, and pray. Prayer is the greatest thing we can do for someone else.  What a blessing it was for me to place my hands on their feet and pray with them. I believe that it is this part of the pedicure that drew these women to trust inexperienced pedicurists with their feet.

About the author

Linda Swanson serves with Paraclete as a member care provider, retreat speaker and spiritual director. She comes alongside global workers to help them be effective in life and ministry. Via Skype, Linda provides spiritual direction for global workers. With her husband, Kevin, Linda served for 28 years with MAF, both overseas as a pilot/mechanic family and at headquarters in administration and member care. During eight of those years, she helped direct Fairhaven Ministries, a retreat center for clergy and global workers. Now, Linda lives in Englewood, New Jersey where her husband is a pastor with the Evangelical Covenant Church. Their two children are married and they have two grandsons.

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