“In my country we have a saying.”
My husband nodded and his African friend continued.
“We say, ‘We wear the same shoes.'”
He stopped to think about how to translate what it meant.
“It means, we are same. We are close. You know, we, you and me, we wear the same shoes.”
My husband was blessed.
It has become a saying in our home.
Most often the saying is used in the way it was given to us, to refer to those who are dear to us.
Recently God has brought it to mean something new.
I was running (actually driving) from one errand to the next. My schedule was about as full as I could possibly squeeze things in. Yet I felt the Lord tell me to stop at a specific store to buy a pair of shoes for one of our daughters.
First reaction: I don’t have time for that.
“Stop and buy shoes.”
I know better than to disobey.
Pulling the car into the parking lot our oldest asked what I was doing. She knew the schedule and this was not on it.
“Honey, I am going to buy your sister some shoes.”
She was confused but didn’t argue. Hoping to cut time by having her and the other kids wait in the car our second girl and I go inside.
We find a pair and I stand in line. Only one person in front of me.
Unfortunately something is wrong with the card scanner and I wait.
It gave me time to get my attitude from rush and hurry to thanking God even if this wasn’t in the schedule I knew He had a reason.
It was my turn and I realize the reason for two checkers wasn’t to help the lady in front of me.
One was going off and the other on.
They begin this process and I try to mind my own business while they talk.
Yet I was drawn into the conversation as the older of the two begins to become emotional.
Voice thick with emotions she related to both of us that her granddaughter was missing, her son had called her that morning.
“He thinks she ran away.”
With that she began to leave the checkout.
I reached out and said, “I will pray she comes home!”
The lady walked closer.
“Please, please pray for me and for her. Please pray.”
Putting our arms across each others shoulders I began to pray a loud for this terrible situation.
It was brief.
We both were crying.
She thanked me and moved on.
The other checker handed me the new shoes and thanked me for “doing that”.
I gathered our shoes and my daughter and walked out.
Upon reaching the car we all prayed again for the 14 year old granddaughter and her family.
I marveled at God’s grace.
Much later, when again praying for the family, God helped me to think of this as something different.
It shouldn’t be unusual,
to be encouraging others.
It shouldn’t be surprising,
when God reaches out to the hurting.
Jesus did it constantly.
And so should I.
Jesus said in prayer just before the cross, “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”
(The entire prayer is amazing! John 17:8-26)
So the next time the phrase “We wear the same shoes,” comes to mind I am praying it will be a reminder to me.
Not just for friends or family.
But do Jesus and I wear the same shoes?
How about you?