I’m not a big fan of shoes. Oh, I like them to protect my feet from splinters and rocks and keep my toes warm in winter snow. Sandals are my favorite, I think because my feet can still feel “free.” But my all-time favorite thing to wear is cowboy(girl) boots. They are absolutely the most comfortable thing on earth for your feet…but they have got to be sized just right. When you slide your foot into a boot and it gets “sucked down” into the heel, it is an “Ahhhhh” moment!
However, when you have many miles on your old “hoofs,” the cowboy boots can be a thing of the past. Foot surgery, tears in the achilles tendon, hours of physical therapy…plus the problem with shoulders and arms that just don’t have enough strength to get the stupid boots pulled back off! Am I whining?
Well, at any rate, the whole shoe thing made think about my mom. She had more shoes than any other person I’ve known. A pair for every outfit almost! And she loved to shop for shoes. When we’d go shopping at the mall, she would invariably stop and try on shoes at two or three places.
When we had to clear out her house after she’d died, we had boxes and boxes of shoes. I’m getting to the point, I promise!
Mom’s shoe boxes held every-day flat slip-ons–some were well worn and you could see smudges on the leather, the wear pattern on the heels–others were gently broken in. And at the far back corner of her closet there were boxes of what I’d call “Dressy dress” heels. Not the normal heels you’d have for Sunday. They were fancy enough for a dinner party or wedding and hardly had a wear mark at all. In fact, a couple pairs I am not sure she ever wore once.
But they were there in that closet with all the rest. And they were just as important as all the well-worn shoes. Even if they’d only been out of the box once…they’d done what they were supposed to do–made Mom happy with a little extra glow on her cheeks because they were her shoes and she felt proud to wear them.
Sometimes I’ve felt like a pair of shoes. In a box. In the back corner of a closet. In the past I felt useful…when I was younger and got out a lot and did all sorts of walking and nothing stopped me or zapped my strength. Now…not so much. Will I ever do that again? Will I ever be useful again?
Nothing you ever read or learn is wasted. Your brain remembers absolutely everything, but often we can’t access it because of the overload of so many other things that crowd daily living. And as women, we put ourselves last as we serve family and friends. It’s okay to admit it, ladies, we DO put ourselves last.
One thing I remembered a few weeks ago was that years ago someone had mentioned being “put on a shelf” and waiting and waiting for God to use them. It struck me then how similar it was to the boxes of Mom’s shoes.
We don’t get to choose when and how we will be active for God. He is the one Who plans our gifts, talents and strengths. Sometimes I will feel like I know exactly where I’m headed and what God is doing. Other times, I’m that pair of pretty dress shoes, feeling I’ve been forgotten.
But God knows exactly where I am and what I am good for and when He will use me and how pretty I will look. And He will be so happy and proud that I am His. And He will say, “Ahhhhhh.”
by Cindy Best