The Author

Shoes in the Street

The traffic was heavy and slow enough that I noticed the pair of shoes that were laying in the middle of the street. A pair of men’s black dress shoes, they were new enough to make me wonder how they had arrived at that abandoned state.

Perhaps someone was moving from one home to another. In the hurry to make the transition, the closet’s contents had been stuffed in a plastic bag and tossed in the back of a pickup. It had taken at least a thoughtful pause to place the good shoes on top to keep them from being scratched, but the first good bump in the road sent those shoes sailing into the street, far away from home.

Or, someone was down to his last dollar. Looking for some way to pay the rent or buy some groceries, he gathered the best he had to take to the second-hand store, hoping that treasures could be traded for necessities. I don’t want to think about that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach when he discovered that his future had fallen to the wayside.

Maybe the shoes were just too tight. Every step brought pain, a reminder that what had begun as a journey of comfort and durability had ended in a slow slog of endurance. In a fit of freedom, the owner ripped off the shoes and tossed them out the window. Littering aside, to imagine that someone might have the courage to seize the moment, to say, “enough of this!” makes me smile at the thought of feet set free.

All of us have known people who have been tossed aside like a pair of shoes in the road – far from home, hopeless, longing to be set free. Some of us were those people. What we wanted was someone to slow down long enough to look at us, to hear our cry for help. What we found was Jesus. His eye, his ear, his hand rescued us when we were lost and forgotten along life’s way. He is what we needed. He is what we can offer. We can see that if we’ll just slow down long enough to look.

Blessings, Sam