The invalid in us

After 35 years of running, I had to stop this year due to hip issues.  I decided to pick up biking and called my brother, a seasoned biker, to take me out on the road.  I remember feeling insecure and fearful.  Taking on new things usually feels this way.  But he spoke something to me that day that changed the way I felt.  It was something like this: “You could really be good at this biking stuff.”  I remember feeling something deep stir in me. He had seen something in me that I could not see and spoke it out.  What did I feel? Validated.

An invalid is someone we image as sickly, unable to walk, confined to a bed.  But change the accent to make the word invalid.  The image still connects.  When we feel invalid, we become sick in our souls, unable to walk through life, confined to an emotional prison. We then get on a never-ending treadmill, doing anything we can to find affirmation.  We become sucking black holes, fishing for compliments, fearing criticism. Or we can take the opposite route, harden our hearts, and deflect any praise that comes. At least we won’t feel the longing anymore.

When Jesus began his work, he was validated by his Father before all who would listen. Here is what the voice said: “You are my beloved son.  With you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:17)  It was an affirmation Jesus would need as the foundation for all that lay ahead for him.  If the Son of God needed this from his Father, how much more we.

Yes, we do need to affirm each other.  It’s part of loving others well.  It’s beautiful and powerful whether between husband and wife, parent and child, teacher and student. All this came home to me recently watching a brilliant short film entitled, Validation.  In it, you see the power of validation between persons.

But all of this is the echo of a deeper validation that we can have from one who sees us and knows us completely.  What he thinks of us is the most important thing in the world. And in Christ, we become validated: “You are my beloved child. With you I am well pleased.” This is the affirmation that can become the foundation for our own souls.

Take some time today to hear the Father’s affirmation of you.  Then take 15 minutes and watch the film.

About Coach D

I have been a teacher and a coach for many years. My real name is Bill Delvaux, but my students call me Coach D, hence the user name. This blog is about the journey into the unknown I am walking and the landmarks I am navigating along the way. The destination: becoming who I really am as a man. I invite you to join me by reading along every Monday and Thursday.
This entry was posted in Bike Ride, Father, Landmarks and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The invalid in us

  1. Judi says:

    I had to curtail my running due to hip issues as well. I can run on a treadmill but not on the street. weird.

    • Coach D says:

      I’m glad you can keep running, even on a treadmill. I’ve also taken up swimming as well as biking. They aren’t as good as running for me, but I am thankful I can do these things. Thanks for reading my blog and posting it to others. It means a lot!


  2. Taylor Davis says:

    I too have had to cut back seriously on the running I do outside. Cross Country and then Police Academy really took its toll on me. Those used to be some of my favorite times, when I could just listen. Now to keep the tendonitis from flaring up I have to use an elliptical machine. I can go for a “real” run about twice a month, but not much more than that.

    More importantly though, you have touched on something that is very important to me as I enter the ranks of fatherhood. I feel that it is so important for parents to show validation to their children. Not false praise, but true validation of who they are. My first is due in 6 short weeks, and the first words I want him to hear from his father are Mark 1:17.

    What better father/son relationship to try to imitate than the The Father and His Son?

    • Coach D says:

      Great to here from you! And you are almost a father Wow! You are so right…validating your children is critical, not basing it solely on their performance but one their personhood. It’s one thing to compliment them on a good game or a good grade. It’s great to do that, but what they really ache to hear is that you are glad they are in the family, that they are one of your children. To let your fatherhood in some way reflect the Fatherhood of God is to open a door into a world of beauty, redemption, and hope. It’s also the door into the deepest part of your heart.
      Thanks for reading my blog…I hope you can subscribe to it. Stay in touch.

      Coach D

  3. Laura Graves says:

    LOVE THE YOUTUBE CLIP! Perfect example of how everything you do or say impacts others. As a college professor in special education, I often share how we need to look for children’s abilities rather than focusing on their disabiltiies. If you change how you look at a child, the child you look at changes. Great connection of how God’s words reflect on all of us, “You are my beloved son. With you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:17). I may use the clip in class. Thanks for sharing.

    • Coach D says:

      Feel free to use it in class, whatever helps. So much of education for me has come down to relationship, refusing to see students in terms of their problems. Learning to affirm the student as a person has come as I have felt affirmed by my Father in heaven. It has been beautiful to watch! It was great to meet you in Knoxville.

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