A couple of years ago I met an old man who used a diamond willow cane. He was in his 80s, frail and needed it to keep from falling. When I told him that I had recently been losing my balance because of diabetic neuropathy, he advised very strongly, “Hey, if you’re losing your balance, then you’d better get a cane right away, and use it.”
It goes with me everywhere. People look at it with wonderment when they see its swimming seal-shaped handle made of walrus tooth by my Native Alaska artist friend Joe Senungetuk. People marvel when they see the wood from which it is made, too. Said to be found throughout much of Alaska, my diamond willow cane was made by Bill Cobb of Cordova.
My cane’s resting spot is right inside the door of my house. When I go out in the morning and come back at night, it goes with me. Wherever I go it brings support and balance to my walk. I pause and rest on it while waiting for the crosswalk light to turn green. It brings me assurance and comfort knowing that I won’t fall, or lose my balance, because it is right there with me, by my side.
Whatever you want to call it, a crook, cane, staff, rod or a stick, I liken my cane to the Word of God!
⎯ I keep it inside the front door of my house:
“The WORD have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11
⎯ I go out and come back with it:
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
“The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” Psalm 121:8
⎯ It brings support and balance to my life:
“Fear thou not, for I am with thee: be not dismayed, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee; I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10
⎯ I pause and rest on it:
“Salvation belongs to the LORD; Your blessing be upon Your people, Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! Psalm 3:8 Amplified
⎯ It brings me assurance and comfort:
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
If you feel like you’re a little unstable, unsure, about to lose your balance, trip or even fall, don’t forget YOU’VE GOT A CANE in your house!
Sing it with me, okay?