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Friday, January 5, 2018

What Our Shoes Say About Us

Ephesians 6:15, “As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace” (NIV).

I have been thinking about shoes all day long.  This is incredibly strange for someone who doesn’t even like shoes!

This passage about the armor of God is an interesting one for a variety of reasons.  Most of the pieces are defensive in nature (although not all), but the language of armor and battle and war does not lend itself well to discussions about peace… except when it does. 

And when it comes to our feet, the word is “whatever.” 

Whatever prepares you to proclaim the gospel of peace, in the midst of struggle… put it on your feet and move!  Because our shoes say an awful lot about where we have been, where we are going, and what we are willing to do.  And who we are, too…  Our shoes say a lot about who we are.

As I began to process all of this, many hours ago, a scene from a movie that I hadn’t seen in over twenty-five years came to mind.  I’m thirty-eight.  If you do the math, you’ll quickly realize that we’re talking about something that I saw when I was thirteen.  It is absurd that it stood out so vividly in my memory.  The movie was “Fried Green Tomatoes.”  As I scribbled a note to remember to look this up later, I immediately started to shorten it to an abbreviation and was completely disturbed when it came out FGT… like this blog… 

I viewed the film (which I cannot recommend… and I certainly cannot recommend for young teenagers) early this evening, because I wanted to make sure I was making appropriate connections.  There are a couple of horrifying scenes depicting the Ku Klux Klan (all scenes in all movies, books, media of any kind, and especially real life which depict such an atrocity are horrifying), and a main character asks why the participants in this violence do not have enough sense to change their shoes if they don’t want others to know who they are.  What a great question!

If the private places our feet travel are places of violence, hate, discrimination, and exclusivity; our shoes will identify us as inadequate vessels of the gospel of peace.  There is no hiding our character when the most exposed parts of our beings provide undeniable clues about who we really are.

Admittedly, I am a lousy example when it comes to footwear.  Y’all, I’ve been faithfully wearing my flip flops in sub-zero temperatures, in the snow, all week.  But I guess this proves the point.  Maybe the world will know us by our shoes… and where we’re willing to wear them.  What’s on your feet?


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