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Share Your Shoes

Between saying and doing, many a pair of shoes is worn out. 
(Iris Murdoch)
 
How many pairs of shoes do you own? How many can you say you have 'worn out' in your lifetime? I have two grandsons who go through sneakers like they were going out of style. It isn't that they really are 'out of style' because my daughter is sure to keep them 'in style'. It is that they honestly wear them out - they are thread-bare by the time they finally discard them and that can even take them a long time to let go of some of them! Shoes serve a purpose to cover our feet, protecting them from hazards and keeping them warm. In Arizona, they do just the opposite - they keep our feet out of direct contact with the hot cement and asphalt that could scorch the soles of our feet and fry an egg! We have been thinking about our physical inventory of shoes and their purpose, but I wonder if you have ever stopped to consider your 'spiritual shoes' - the shoes we call 'peace'. Do you think you can actually 'wear out' the shoes of God's peace in your world? Maybe it is time we all learn to wear these shoes of protection just a little more frequently and then encourage others to put on those same shoes.

So stand up and do not be moved. Wear a belt of truth around your body. Wear a piece of iron over your chest which is being right with God. Wear shoes on your feet which are the Good News of peace. Most important of all, you need a covering of faith in front of you. This is to put out the fire-arrows of the devil. (Ephesians 6:14-16)

The truth of the matter is that we oftentimes don't realize we aren't 'in peace' until we find our peace has been disturbed, or is completely lacking in a situation. Then we scramble to find our 'shoes', don't we? We want to get our peace back on! I like what Ms. Murdoch says about the distance between saying and doing bringing us to the place where we actually 'wear out' our shoes. I think we may not actually 'wear out' God's peace, but I think we take those shoes and place them squarely upon the feet of another who may need them for the phase of the journey they are undertaking today. It isn't that we cannot 're-don' the shoes of peace again because we can find an ample supply of these 'peace shoes' in the Good News of God's Word and in his presence. It is as though he sees we have 'unshod' feet and gifts us with a new infusion of his peace - thereby preparing us to walk again in his peace and presence. We have not given away something that isn't replaced - we have given away only to find we receive afresh what we allowed another to experience.

'Shod feet' in a spiritual sense is perhaps a symbol of being ready to give whatever is needed. When we share the peace of God with someone who finds their world 'peace-less' or in a state of chaos, we are really just sharing our shoes. I watch my grand boys just find a pair of flip flops in the garage, cast off by the last wearer right outside the door. It doesn't matter whose they are, if they can get their feet into them, they will quickly don them and make their way to my car when I arrive. They aren't concerned that they may be 'girl' flip flops, or their brother's, they just want their feet protected. It is easy to 'slip into' another's shoes on occasion - easier than we might imagine. Maybe God will ask us to do just that - to slip into their shoes while they slip into ours. If we 'exchange' shoes, we may be giving them the peace and protection they need right at that moment. I find it isn't the big things others always need in life - the little things matter just as much. 

Between saying and doing many a shoe is worn out - - - whatever you have been saying on your way to doing something needs to involve some 'shoe exchanges' along the way, my friends. Give God's peace away to those who are without it. Don't hoard his peace like you do those many pairs of shoes you have in your closet right now, ladies! Don't think his peace won't 'fit' the situation - it may just be what you can 'give away' right now will be the perfect 'fit' to ensure the other person has their feet shod with God's peace and presence at this very moment. Today it could be you sharing your shoes - tomorrow it could be the other person sharing them with you! Just sayin!

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