What is it about feet?
Some people love their feet and others try to hide them at all costs. Either way, it is our feet that carry us here and there. Actually, it is our feet that carry us everywhere. That might have sounded a little Dr. Seussish.
I have read that one of the first things people notice about someone else is her shoes. Yes, I do really, really like shoes, especially colorful athletic ones which probably says something about my personality.
While on my first mission trip this past year to El Salvador, I was wearing one of my favorite pair of Nikes. We were in a mountainous area so I was very thankful to have those comfortable shoes as we held medical clinics in remote areas.
Before we left, I was prompted to give those shoes to a missionary student named Vilma who had become dear to me. She had followed me out of a building when I was searching for a woman to just give her a hug as she was going through a hard time. My plan was just to hug her because I cannot speak Spanish.
As I started walking toward the woman whose name is Diliam, I realized that she might wonder why I was looking for her since I had already hugged her before she walked out. You see, her counselor, Vilma, told me that Diliam was sad because her young grandson had cancer.
Upon learning this information, my heart sank as I am also a grandmother with young grandsons. I just wanted to hug her again after finding out why her heart was hurting. On my way to her, I prayed, “God, help me!”
When I turned around, Vilma was there and offered to translate so that I could have a conversation with Diliam. The tears flowed between us as we embraced and talked about her grandson. All the while, Vilma was making it possible for us to communicate so that I could remind her of God’s love and care for her and her family. It was such a sweet time!
The last day we were in clinic, I looked at Vilma’s feet and asked her what size shoe she wore. How exciting that Vilma and I wear the same size shoe so I was able to gift my shoes to her.
As she continues to serve people in that area, she will bring this scripture in Isaiah to life as it reminds us,
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation.”
And then there was that time years ago when a friend and I went shopping at the mall. She found a pair of shoes that she wanted desperately, but she did not purchase them. In the next week, I went back to the store and bought those shoes for her. I must admit that I had a bit of a motive in doing so because I desperately wanted my friend to read a particular motivational book.
That book had really blessed me and I just knew that it would be helpful to her, also. So, I gave her the book and one shoe. You are probably saying now, “No, you did not do that.” Yes, I did. I told her that I would give her the other shoe when she read the book.
I got a call from her after she had read about three chapters and through tears she said that the book was so helpful to her that I did not even need to give her the shoes. She was thankful for the message of the book and, yes, I did give her the other shoe. That was fourteen years ago.
Now, fast forward to this year when my friend, Carol, passed away. She and I had shared many lunches, conversations and laughs. Several times when she would leave, I would tell her that we had solved some world problems just through all of our discussions.
Carol loved the color purple and wore it often from head to toe. One day she came by and showed me some purple tennis shoes that she had purchased earlier in the day. I told her that I really liked them and that I would even choose that style and color.
Perhaps it was a bold move, but I did tell Carol’s daughter that I would like to have those shoes to wear at my store as a reminder of Carol unless someone else wanted them. I did not even know what size they were, but I was hopeful they would fit.
Sure enough, her daughter Stacey located the shoes and brought them to me. I probably would have purchased a half size bigger for myself, but I can wear them proudly with just a thin sock. I wore them the other day and was reminded of the kindness and generosity of my friend, Carol, whom I loved dearly.
I have quite a history with shoes.
Vilma can now wear those shoes as she walks over that rough terrain in El Salvador or wherever ministry takes her.
She told me after I gifted them to her that she did not own any tennis shoes.
Those shoes I gave my friend as a bit of a bribe are probably long gone, but I do know that she enjoyed them and I am hopeful that they were special to her.
And, Carol’s shoes are a blessing to me and a reminder of the kindness she showed wherever her feet took her. No doubt, I will think of Carol when I choose to wear those brightly colored purple shoes.
In Jesus’ time, people walked everywhere and their feet took a beating. Jesus humbly washed the feet of His disciples. There is much in the Bible about feet and our steps that are ordered by the Lord. (Proverbs 20:24)
I am thankful that “the Lord directs the steps of the Godly and that He delights in every detail of our lives.” (Psalms 37:23)
You know, our feet will take us here and there. In fact, they will carry us everywhere. In our homes and far away, wherever we go day by day. May it be said of us as we go our way, “Those are beautiful feet whom share the good news of Christ and pray.”
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Carla Holtz grew up in a cozy Oklahoma town where she was part of a wonderful church and youth group providing the place for her to meet her husband, Randy of now 35 years. A comfy person is a suitable description of Carla, as she is someone people feel they have known for a long time. By combining humor with life experiences and the Word, she brings practical wisdom for everyday living through her writings and her opportunities to speak at women’s events. It is her goal to bring encouragement to fellow Christians while living a life that draws people to the Lord. Currently, Carla serves her church in a way which allows her to help people get connected to the body of believers and discover where they can best use their God-given gifts. Carla and Randy have planted deep roots in their Oklahoma community where they raised their children and now have the blessing of enjoying their grandchildren.