How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things.”
How many do you have? Shoes, I mean. Living in a country which has known the blessing of God most of us have more than one pair. We have our “running shoes,” “dress shoes,” “work shoes,” (or boots) — and then there’s that “favorite pair” that may be as “old as the hills” but are simply too comfortable to throw away! Shoes.
In Romans 10:15, the Bible gives us an example of those with “beautiful feet.” “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things.” It is true — a simple pair of shoes can be used to bring glad tidings.
When our church mission team journeyed to Guatemala, they took all of the suitcases allowed for their flight. They filled them — not all with personal belongings, but with things needed for the people of Guatemala. One of their greatest needs is shoes. Paula remembers the line that stretched long, and then even longer than she could have imagined with people longing to get their feet in a pair of shoes—USED shoes at that. Some had no shoes. Others had shoes boasting no ends — but feet pushing through where the toes should have been. Other feet had been pushed into shoes too small for so long that they were covered with blisters and sores. Some didn’t get a pair . . . There weren’t enough . . .shoes.
Recently, a friend of mine who lives out of town relayed this incident. A young man we will call Mike* lived his life with a giving heart not generously found in the ways of those his age. As a teenager, he loved life, did well in school, and played his personal best at the sport of soccer. After high school graduation in 2007 he joined the Marines, and, literally gave his all for our country.
As his friends mourned their loss, one shared a story — a story very few knew — another story of what can be done with just a pair of shoes. One day Mike came to his mother with a need. His soccer shoes were wearing out — he was certainly needing some new ones. So, Mom went and bought for him the shoes he needed.
Soon after filling this need, Mom was picking Mike up from practice when she happened to glance at his feet. “Why are you wearing your old soccer shoes?” she asked. “Why aren’t you wearing your new ones?” Mike’s response showed the bigness of his heart. You see, there was another boy on the team who’s shoes were worn out too — Mike thought his friend needed shoes worse, so, he gave his friend his own brand new shoes.
Mike had no idea his deed that day would be part of the story characterizing the legacy of who he was. After all, it was “just a pair of shoes.”
It’s in the simple things we share Him — carrying His peace and glad tidings wherever we go . . . And who knows, someday, here or in Heaven we may here a story of what He did — through our “pair of shoes!”
By: Janene A. Dubbeld/FGG
*Names changed for this story