Thursday, February 17, 2011

Just a pair of shoes..........

This week I have been reminded two things about a pair of shoes.........

First, is to remember you never know what a person is going through unless you've walked in their shoes.  I mean you just don't know.  You don't know what hurts and struggles they may be walking through and sometimes they don't know how to tell others they are having a hard time.  There are many reasons we don't share our struggles or even that we are at a point in our live that we need help.  When those who pass by us in the hall at church, work or at a ballgame could be experiencing a time in their life they may need a smile, an encouraging word, a friend to say "how can I help?", etc.  I've been reminded this week to ask the Holy Spirit to make me sensitive to His prompting me of when I think someone around me needs that smile, hug, kind word, offer to meet a need, extra prayers, etc.  I have asked God to forgive me for times I am too quick to judge those around me.  I've begged forgiveness for the times I have been too busy to realize when someone is hurting around me or even "hear" his whisper / prompt to reach out to others.

The second thing I was reminded this week about shoes is rather somber.  Did you know there are places in this world that a pair of shoes could not just change a child's life but a whole village?  A member of the team I am privileged to serve with shared this week of a pastor in Ethiopia.  When asked by a mission team from our church- what can we do to help you- what needs do you have?  His response was our kids need shoes.  The disease and illness that are spreading throughout our village is in part due to the children not having shoes (they are passing things along this way).  The children Pastor Sammy (I believe this was his name) ministers to everyday are not only being feed and educated but are hearing how their spiritual needs can be met as well.  I look forward to a project our Missions Pastor - Jake will be introducing in the near future to attempt to put shoes on every child in that village's feet.  I mean really- should this even be a need that we can't accomplish?  Although I have seen this first hand in Nicaragua as well, this week I was reminded of the poverty in Third World countries.  I don't know if I can even walk near my closet - first of all when I walk in my closet I am reminded this area could be doubled and be the size of an entire house in some areas of the world- I promise I've seen it.  Not even to begin to think I have so many shoes I can't even begin to count them all.

It is my prayer that the things the Lord has broken my heart over this week about shoes will not soon be forgotten.  I pray that when I go to my closet in the morning to decide which pair to wear- I will be lift up those around me hurting and ask the Lord to show me those I have no idea the path their shoes are walking right now- especially for those needing a kind word.  May I be faithful in giving to help Pastor Sammy cover Ethiopian children's feet with quality shoes as he continues to plant their feet in the truth of God's word.

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