I was always told that God works through us in many ways, but for me, I needed to take a walk in the wrong pair of shoes to really understand it for myself.
I was angry about the shoes I chose to wear today. It may seem small and insignificant, but I didn’t realize how hard it was raining out and how much it would bother me. I was walking to the metro in my flats that I normally walk in and I had put a nice clean pair of shoes in my bag to wear once I got to church. It seemed like a smart plan, but with every step into the puddles pooling on the sidewalk, I grew more and more upset. The water was seeping through the worn leather of my shoes, and every crack in the weathered soles was an opening crevice for the water to slip in.
I was so annoyed that it was raining because I had no control it. I was frustrated with myself for not wearing my rain boots and preparing better for my commute. This led to being angry with myself because I needed to place the blame somewhere. Why didn’t I think of this? How could I be so dumb? Why did I think this city life wouldn’t be so hard?
I walked into church with my cold, wet shoes, dripping umbrella, and soaked pant bottoms. Well, here I am God, I thought. I’m a mess, I feel horrible, and I am not amused. It felt too ironic. I wanted an easy path to church with sunbeams and light shining, not a trek through the city with sloppy shoes and my drenched leopard print umbrella.
To be honest, I wanted convenience, not just to my destination, but to my faith. I wanted my faith to be so easily accessible, a little rain wouldn’t bother me. But instead, my faith was immediately shaken and I questioned if I should even bother making the trip.
I think it’s the moments where we are in a tough spot and questioning our commitment to God that we see, though sometimes surprising to us, the strength in our faith. It made me think about the way Jesus walked through his life, weathering whatever storms came his way. He washed the feet of the disciples who followed him, and even blessed those who walked in different shoes than he did.
Someone mentioned in church today that we should seek to find Jesus in other people. The holes forming in my shoes were a physical reminder that I need to let God in when it rains in my life. I was so focused on my own problems and my own comfort that I neglected to feel the joy of being able to go church on Sunday morning, and the peace I feel in worshiping Him. I was caught up in things I have no control over and it sucked my energy into a negative place when I could have focused on walking the walk in Jesus’s path.
There was a book that we read in middle school called, “Walk Two Moons” and it was one of my favorites. It’s a great story, but the piece that stuck with me the most was the message that we cannot judge people without walking two moons in their shoes. This message was powerful to me because it’s easy to think we know what someone is going through just because we have felt something similar, but until we truly and genuinely spend time in that person’s shoes, we can’t honestly say that we know exactly how they feel.
This brings me back to how I think about my walk this morning. It would be a long haul for me if I continue to wear my worn out shoes in the dreary weather. But I know that Jesus has walked more than two moons in my shoes, and I know that He is ready to walk with me on my life path. I may not always know the way and I will definitely not always be prepared, but I have faith that the shoes on my feet will guide me to Him.