Posted tagged ‘shoes’

Norma’s Shoes

December 7, 2015

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                   December 7, 2015

                                                     

   

Norma Koch was a person of faith…perhaps courageous faith might be the better description. She believed in a Jesus that was not weak and, therefore, she was not to approach her walk with him in a weak way!

A couple of years ago the social worker at Audubon School, down the street from our church, called to say that there was a boy at the school who needed a new pair of shoes. The young lad had a pair of shoes that were literally held together with duct tape. The tape was wrapped around and around each of the shoes to keep them from falling apart. Our church bought him a new pair. A young kid’s feet were singing hallelujah!

That child’s need struck deep within Norma’s heart. The senior living complex she resided in would play Bingo once or twice a week and there were actually “cash winnings!” A quarter here, fifty cents there! Norma began collecting her winnings in a jar with a mission. The mission was to collect the change until there was enough to buy a new pair of shoes for the next child in need.

This past July she turned the money in, and it was deposited into out church’s benevolence fund until the need arose to use it.

And then Norma passed away! Ninety years old…ready to meet the Jesus she followed face-to-face, ready to be done with the aches and pains that had accompanied her for so long. She passed…and entered!

About six weeks after her passing Audubon School called again. A first grade girl was in dire need of a new pair of shoes. Norma’s shoes got bought. A little girl is now wearing “Dora the Explorer” shoes…all sparkly and new on her feet.

Though she is dancing in glory Norma Koch continues to have an impact in this life.

Mud Prints

February 11, 2015

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                 February 11, 2015

                                                  

I wear a red Nike shoes. The red stands out in a crowd of short people. They feel comfortable and are about as radical as I ever get. Perhaps that’s why people notice them so much, because they seem like a hood ornament on a guy who drives a seven year old Civic Hybrid.

My Nike’s get good traction, are very light, and easy to spot in my closet. But there’s one thing that bugs me about my pair of “reds.” It’s the bottom of my shoes. They announce where I’ve been, and leave tracks that look like an octopus has taken a stroll across our kitchen floor.

I can’t hide the mud prints! In the crevices of my shoes the dirt takes up temporary residence, and it doesn’t matter how much I stomp on them in the garage I still manage to “hold on” to some freeloaders until I come inside.

I’m sure that many of you are thinking to yourself, “Just take them off when you enter the house!” Sometimes I do, but at other times my common sense, time-efficient mind reminds me that taking them off would mean that I would have to put them back on when I exited again. That would cost me…what, thirty seconds?

And so I track the outdoors to the indoors. In case you are wondering, mud prints on the kitchen floor equal unhappy wife looking at me!

Where we’ve been leaves a trail as we walk to where we’re going. I can’t hide my past path when I stride across the kitchen floor.

There’s numerous stories in the Bible that give us a similar message. David couldn’t hide his adulterous affair with Bathsheba from Nathan. Ananias and Sapphire couldn’t hide their deception and greed from Peter. Jonah couldn’t hide his bitterness for the Ninevites from God. Our behavior and reactions too often give us up. People see the trail of our words that don’t match the footprints of our behavior.

One time quite a while ago I left a public restroom with toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe. Unbeknownst to me I was communicating to everyone who passed me where i had just come from.

Now a days I always check my shoes, especially my red Nike’s, when I leave the john! Unfortunately, I’m not as discerning with our kitchen floor!

Shoes for Joey

December 10, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                         December 10, 2013

                                          

(The following story is based on something that actually happened to me today. The names suggested, however, are fictitious.)

Mrs. Brown, the school social worker, had a problem. Actually, it seemed like every new day brought a compounding of problems, but today she knew that her problem had two feet and one and a half shoes.

Joey, a fourth grader, had been a little suspect with his school attendance recently. His mom would call in the morning about every other day to say that Joey was ill and wouldn’t be at school that day. The afflictions ranged from a cold to a headache to him running a fever. Over the past month Joey had been to school ten days out of a possible twenty-two.

But today he was there, and Mrs. Brown was starting to piece together some things. Joey had been absent on days when it was cold and snowing, and recently there had been a number of those kind of days. Today the sun had come out to raise the temperature to the upper thirties…a heat wave compared to what they ahd been experiencing.

Joey was at school today, and today Joey’s challenge became clear. Joey needed shoes!

Mrs. Brown got on the phone and called Pastor Mike at the community church down the street, and she told him of her problem.

“I know this is a lot to ask, Pastor, but do you think your church could help? Believe me! Joey’s toes are sticking out of the front of his shoe.”

“I’ll be there in an hour. What size does he wear?”

“Six.”

“Consider it done!”

“Thank you! You don’t know how much this means.”

“Mrs. Brown, whenever there is a need that we can help with put us on speed dial. We consider ourselves to be partners with you in the raising up, caring, and safety of the children of our community.”

“And we need all the help we can get.”

She hung up the phone and breathed a sigh of relief. Joey came from a broken home. He split his time between his mom and his dad. Mrs. Brown was more than a little concerned about him. Sometimes kids come to school wondering if life is going to get any better. It broke her heart especially at this time of the year. So many of the students she dealt with saw Christmas as a depressing time, not a time of joy.

An hour later Pastor Mike got buzzed in through the front door and entered the office with a shoe box in hand.

“I hope these fit.”

“We will soon find out. I’ll have Joey come down to the office to try them on.”

A few minutes later a skinny young boy with a nervous look on his face came into the office. Pastor Mike stood to the side, but noticed that the front of one of Joey’s shoes was held together with duct tape that had been wrapped around and around the shoe like first aid tape trying to bring healing that was beyond it. The tape was fraying and splintering on the sides, and the other shoe looked like it was about to lose the tip. Both shoes were rubbed raw of any tread on the soles.

“Joey, I want you to try these shoes on,” said Mrs. Brown.

Joey had a confused look on his face.

“Go ahead! Just try this one on.”

“But Mrs. Brown, I don’t know if my mom would say I could.”

“I’ll talk to your mom. You let me worry about that part.”

“He slipped his old shoe off and worked his foot slowly into the new shoe with bright shoelaces. A smile rose to the surface.

“Now, I want you to give me your old pair and I’ll take care of them.”

“You don’t think my mom will be mad?”

“Joey, I’ll talk to your mom.”

The young boy thanked the lady and left the office beaming.

“A new pair of shoes,” he thought. “I don’t remember the last time I had a new pair of shoes.”

Mrs. Brown watched him stroll out of the office with a little skip in his step. She looked at Pastor Mike, and with tears streaming down her face she asked, “Did you see the look on his face? I haven’t seen him smile a single time this whole year until today.”

“Think about it, Mrs. Brown. Up until just now every time he looked down at his shoes he was reminded of his poverty. Now he can look at his shoes and be reminded that there’s hope.”

No Shoes In the Mall

December 24, 2011

WORDS FROM W.W. December 24, 2011

It was a strange scene, hundreds of people standing outside the mall at a quarter to twelve midnight. Perhaps a celebrity was showing up, or the line to see Santa was so long that people were still waiting hours after the mall had closed.
But a closer look indicated that it was neither of those. The new retro Air Jordan athletic shoes were going on sale. I don’t remember there being lines back in the early seventies for “Chuck Taylor’s” when they went on sale, although I do remember wearing them until they were literally in shreds. No wonder we couldn’t jump in those days! We didn’t have any rubber left on the bottom of our shoes!
The scene was chaos as doors opened, got busted off their hinges and crowds of people ran frantically into the shoe store, only to have most of them be disappointed with the news “No shoes in the Mall!”

Even the fortunate ones who did get the precious pairs included very few people who actually needed a pair of shoes. Comments could be heard:

“I’m putting my pair on eBay for double the price!”

“I’m going to hold on to my pair for a couple of years and then make a mint off of them!”

“I’m just going to keep mine in the box, wrap it up in protective plastic wrap, and watch the value go up. Believe me! No one is going to take down the value of these shoes by actually wearing them!”
What to do? A crisis had emerged. Johnny Junior’s quest for a college scholarship and a lucrative professional contract someday was in jeopardy because there were no AJ’s to be had. Parents explained the repercussions of this shortage to store innkeepers, but to no avail. The only advice they received was “You might try the clearance rack over there. I think we have some old black high-top Converses. They aren’t as flashy, but they still fit feet.”
Some parents became adamant about the store producing more shoes, while others just walked away with downcast expressions. But one young boy found the clearance rack, noticed a brand spanking new pair of old Chuck Taylor’s and shouted out “I found my shoes!”
While others trampled on one another, pushed, punched, and pepper-sprayed, he walked out of the mall with his mom and dad, content, excited, and ready to lace them up!