My Shoes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
Executing judgement: Easy. Empathy and Apathy: Hard.
Jeremiah 22:3 "Thus says the Lord: Do what is right and just. Rescue the victim from the hand of his oppressor. Do not wrong or oppress the resident alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place."

Submitted: February 25, 2014

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Submitted: February 25, 2014

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My Shoes

Scene:  Greyhound bus terminal – interior.  Crowd noise, voices over the intercom announcing departures and arrivals.  Car and bus horns sounding intermittently.  Young ones running through the terminal and babies crying.

There is a man with a newspaper sitting across from me.  Others occupy the remaining seats on the adjoining row. 

“Mister!  Them are some UGLY shoes!”  All those around stop and look down at my shoes and then turn their gaze at me.

“These shoes are ugly, aren’t they?  I’ve been meaning to throw them away.  I have new ones but, well, these are comfortable – now.  They used to hurt a bunch.  I remember when I first got them.  It’s been like Forever!  I saw them in the department store and they were so shiny and glossy.  I could see myself in the patented leather. The stitching was wonderfully crafted.  I snuck a peek at the price and I thought – wow! I can’t afford these!  But, I saved up.I’m not one to save, I spend.  But, these shoes, my shoes, I saved up my money.  As soon as I had enough, I went up to the counter and very boldly and assertively I announced:  I would like to purchase the pair of shoes that are on your showroom floor.  Please (I said ‘please’ because, I didn’t want to sound so bossy). “

“I took them home and stowed them in their proper position in their proper box.  The only times I took them out was on a sunny Sunday morning for church and an occasional dry Saturday night for a dinner date.  The calluses these babies gave me were excruciating. “

“Do you see this grease stain here?  One sunny Sunday after church, I was driving home and I saw a lady’s car with the owner and children pulled over to the side with what seemed like a flat tire.  I was not going to stop because I had on my nice shoes.  But, the baby in her arms and the sad look on her face were too much for me to bear and to just drive off.  I pulled over and helped.  We’ve been friends ever since and her kids consider me sort of an uncle and always come over to mow my lawn or do chores around the house.  Nice people.  She’s a good mom to them all.”

“Look over here at the left heal.  The gouge on the sole was caused by a chain-linked fence.  I was rescuing a baseball from an abandoned lot for a group of boys on a Saturday before a dinner date.  It didn’t work out.  She didn’t like that I was a little late and that I had ripped my pants and my shoes were dirty.” 

“Needless to say, I won’t be able to tell you a story for each and every loose thread, scuff mark or stain on this pair of shoes.  They’ve taken me from town to town, from up to down, and in and out.  I look back on these babies and I smile at how I used to be so silly as to try to keep them in their box.  But, little by little, they were out and gave me calluses and sore feet, safety and protection, love and strife.  I love these shoes.” 

“You look at them and you say, “Mister.  Those are some ugly shoes!”  And I agree:  these are some ugly shoes.  I held my son at the hospital for the first time the day he was born in these shoes.  I buried my wife after she delivered my little one – in these shoes.  I went and interviewed for the job that gives me and my boy a little house for shelter and warmth in these shoes.  The shoes and I are a pair.  We’ve been through quite a bit together.  Yes, ugly shoes.  My ugly shoes.  Just by looking at them, they look ugly but, after you hear what they’ve helped me with in my life, these shoes, my friend, are the most beautiful, the strongest, the finest pair of shoes that man has ever created.  Next to GOD Himself creating the world in six days, comes the hands that created this pair of shoes!”

“Looking at your two-toned leather saddle shoes, I can probably guess that those babies are new and I might even venture to say you might have more than one pair in your closet.  Am I right?  Don’t get me wrong, sir.  I’m only looking with my eyes – I’m not seeing with my heart.  I’m sure they will be a wonderful chapter in the story of your life.  Well.  My bus is here.  I’ve got to go.  Me and my son are patching up a hole in the roof that’s causing some drips on the kitchen floor.  These shoes are waterproof so, yes, I will be wearing them.”

Noises.  Man resumes reading newspaper.  Children crying.  Buses honking and announcement of arrival and departure.

The moral of the story:  It’s so easy to judge one another.  But, as for me, I’ve not walked in your shoes.  I don’t know what you’ve been through.  You haven’t walked in mine.  How can you judge me?  They say that Howard Hughes used to live like a homeless person for years but, he was the richest man in the world.  The number of shoes in your closet doesn’t calculate the happiness in your heart. 

The widow that protects her children from bullies isn’t a “loudmouth, welfare-getting, unemployed so-and-so.  She’s a mom that’s struggling to survive with GOD at her side and will fight all those forces that bring her wrath to surface.  Attach her cubs and the momma bear will tear your throat out with one swipe of her paw.  The young men that wear their clothes and their hair for the current style and  for comfort, aren’t gang-banging, thug living delinquents.  They are young men trying to live day by day after losing their father to an illness – not a drive-by shooting.  They have things to say.  They have feelings.  As it says in Scripture:  Those with ears to hear, let them hear.  Those with eyes to see, let them see. 

Do you wish to judge me?  Ok.  Here.  Take these shoes.  Put them on.  But, be careful, tread gently because those shoes fit me – and only me.(Thank You, Jesus).

 


© Copyright 2020 Macaroni Mario. All rights reserved.

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