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So today I got completely ready to go to worship… except for the shoes. The shoes are always the last thing, because who wants to run around like a chicken with its head cut off getting all the last minute stuff done—in heels? Well, not this chicken. So, after I got all ready (except for the shoes), I sat down at the computer and got really involved in a matter of correspondence that was both urgent and intense. Before I knew it , it was the “we-really-do-have-to-leave-right-now” time and I grabbed the loaf of bread I had for a grieving widower, my purse, the anniversary gift I had for the couple that’s been married 60 years and I was out the door in the rain. Five miles down the road, I transferred the stuff from the purse that didn’t match to the purse that did match and I was all set (except for the shoes).
This was not a good thing because the flat, sloppy, worn-out, mule style loafers weren’t the look I was going for. They didn’t complete the ensemble. In fact, they sort of made me feel like I needed to explain to everyone I met that I didn’t mean to wear them. They shouted “This is a frumpy home-school mom!”
But as we sang the words “Christ We Do All Adore Thee” I began to think about how glad I am that Christ doesn’t care about shoes. He doesn’t care what color they are. He doesn’t care if they are dressy. He doesn’t care whether or not they fit in.
And I began to think about how glad I am that Christ does care about people. And yet the same things can be said about people that He does care about as can be said about shoes that he doesn’t care about. He doesn’t care what color they are. He doesn’t care if they are dressy. And he doesn’t care if they always fit in. In fact, he sometimes prefers that His people don’t fit in (I Peter 2:9; Romans 12:1,2)
Immediately after services, I encountered my deaf friend, Janie, who was baptized a couple of months ago. She signed to me that she has been smoke-free for 18 days. Time to run give her a hug. Janie asked me if I could help Nina. Nina has a learning disability. She was having trouble, at the moment, with her acid reflux and needed some crackers and a place to lie down. Then my 12 year old friend, Allie, with whom I study weekly (to help her prepare for baptism) was waiting for me. On our way down the stairs, we were stopped at Nina’s classroom because her teachers were wondering where she was.
At last, having everyone situated, I began the study. Today we studied about a boy named Joseph who never really did fit in with his brothers. Allie could not remember ever having heard the story of Joseph. When we got Joseph down in the pit, Allie said, “So he just died there in the pit?”
Next week I get to finish the story of Joseph with Allie. Thankfully, he didn’t just die there in the pit. God was with the misfit brother all the way to the second highest position in the land of Egypt. Before he became royalty, he experienced rejection, lost his dressy coat, became a slave, was imprisoned and was forsaken by his friends. In reality, he must have felt very awkward and out of place on many occasions.
I love James 2. It says that if a man comes into our assemblies dressed in fine clothes and we offer that man the best seat in the house, while another attends in dirty clothes and we let him stand on the fringe or sit on the floor, that we are making distinctions among ourselves and have become judges with evil motives. James adds that God has chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith. I also love Matthew 25, where Jesus said if we minister to the least of these, we minister to Him. I want to be richer in faith. I want to be less about matching and more about ministering. I want to be less about fitting in and more about reaching out. I want to be less about the look and more about the Lord.
I’m glad I wore the loafers. They made me think a little bit about the kind of wealth I want. They made me a little ashamed of my vanity, and that’s a good thing. And ministering is easier on the feet when you have on flats.