In the past three years I have been given opportunities to open my eyes, expand my world and take a bird's eye view of the lives around me. After escaping my southern comfort zone and gaining perspective from all over the world, my heart began yearning for change, and it hasn’t stopped. I become impatient for revival and for the roots of peoples lives to be shaken. I long to see people’s lives changed and impacted. But it will not happen by itself; the fruit cannot spring up without seeds being planted. I cannot make a difference without first getting off the couch, leaving what I know to be comfortable and doing something radical. In order to do something that has never been done before, I must live a life that has never been lived before. I have to ask myself, what is the point of knowing the needs in other people's lives and repressing it, acting as if they don't exist? Acting as if everything is okay?
It is beyond the time we wake from our sleep and step into the darkness of this world. As I walk the streets of my town, or sit and watch as people meander by, I want to scream at them because they don't see it. I sense in some people a comatose life, completely unaware of the world around us, the loss, suffering, and different lives that are taking place outside our self-created bubbles. I see blinding that keeps people from seeing the reality of what is all around them. The reality that people are going without. Without food, clean water, shoes, hope, love, grace, redemption.
But, the veil has been lifted from my face. I have seen the poverty and the less privileged of this world and I can't stop thinking about it. And I struggle to wrap my mind around all that is happening. I am sensitive to the reminders and they give me a little more clarity, my eyes opened a little more.
So what can I do? What must I do? I look down at my feet and am reminded "how beautiful are the feet that carry." As I raise my head, stand up a littler straighter, put on my eternal mindset and begin to be awakened once more to the world around me, I take a step forward. The reality is, my heart knows. The truth is that I can't sit back any longer. I have given my life over to the One who created it, but now it’s time I move.
This past week I was blessed enough to be involved in a ministry where we were able to give over 200 kids a new pair of shoes. But the blessing was found in the act. As the children would come and sit in front of us, we would remove their old shoes and wash their feet clean. As we did this, we would tell them about how Jesus, who loves you, loved His freinds so much, he washed their feet! As I was washing a little boy's feet, not sure if he was paying attention to what I was saying, he surprised me and asked, "Why feet?"
So I was left to wonder, why feet??
Our feet carry us all of our lives and hold us up. They lead us and take us places that we would never have thought or imagined. Some good and some less so. When we get to the paths in life that aren't so smooth, the bumps more numerous and tricky, what do we do? We look down. Our heads drop and we look at our feet. My prayer is that each person who receives a pair of shoes can remember the hope and encouragement of that special day when their foot slipped into a whole new realm, represented by a shoe. And I pray the love and encouragement they received from the person who gave it to them will remind them to lift their head. That even though right now is tough, tomorrow is a new day. And their newly protected (and loved) feet will carry them.
And it all starts by putting one foot in front of another. So let's go. One shoe at a time.