I recently attended a ladies’ event. The speaker talked about the importance of seeking things of eternal value. She specifically mentioned the idea of not seeking shoes but instead seeking things that matter.
I like shoes. I like shoes a lot. I recently purchased a pair of tan sandals with clear straps and a small square heel. They are adorable. Even though I already have two other pairs of tan sandals, I really did not debate over the purchase.
I understand that shoes are temporary. Shoes wear out and styles change. Shoes, however, in my opinion, are a necessity. They take us places. Shoes do not make the person but provide a protective covering to help an individual get moving, maintain stamina, and continue on the journey. My passion for shoes is not about me collecting pairs (although I am truly enjoying the varying colors of shoes that are now in style), but also about others owning shoes.
Often in South Africa, I see adults with worn shoes…sometimes tied together with string or a band of plastic torn from a shopping bag. Sometimes the heel is missing or removed for a better fit. The toe can also be worn through. In fact, I was honored to recently purchase a nice pair of Nikes for an older man whose aged tennis shoes were flapping at the toe and wagging at the back.
Barefooted children are the norm in South Africa. I have no problem with children who abandon shoes for a sense of freedom. I also enjoy bare feet tickled by the grass. I do, however, shed tears for children who wander the bush full of thorns and stinging ants because shoes are unaffordable.
It is Christmas time. For a couple of weeks, I have had my eye on a pair of black dress sandals. I am going to pass on the purchase. My tootsies already have a number of black sandal choices. I am, however, Seeking Shoes – just the right pair for someone whose feet need to be covered and whose heart needs to understand the tremendous love of God evident by the birth of His son.
Postscript – Just days after writing the above article, one of our ministry staff had a conversation with a young girl in Makekeng. The young child’s demeanor concerned the team member. Normally, the girl is bubbly and active but that day she was quiet and withdrawn. The girl’s mother passed away a few months ago, and the child is living with an aged grandmother (gogo). The young charge outgrew her shoes and was going to school barefooted. Other children were making fun of her, and the school authorities told her that shoes were a required part of her uniform. The girl reluctantly shared about her dilemma. New shoes have already been purchased and delivered to the gogo.