Consider someone else's shoes
One day my girlfriend slipped on her husband’s shoes and headed out to work.
She teaches in a middle school. Every day she faces adolescents that are wounded, scared, broken-hearted, and let’s face it –- angry. It’s the red-faced, harsh language that can surface first in some of these all-barriers-up kinds of kids.
And she loves them.
She looks beyond those barriers that keep them –- at least from their perspective –- safe.
One morning before school as she was praying, she got an idea. She slipped on her husband’s big tennis shoes and tied them as tightly as she could to keep from stumbling over herself.
She wanted these defensive and aggressive students to step into the shoes of the one angering them – to see life from another’s perspective.
And she caught the attention of some that day.
Recently I read this Scripture and realized my friend had taken a page right out of God’s playbook:
“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!
And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them.
Instead, seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.”
- LUKE 12:27-34 ESV
The passage is a familiar one. “It’s the lilies of the field and since God cares for them, He’ll care for us,” I thought to myself. “Okay, got that.”
I paused, reread again and again taking note of the audience (worriers of little faith) and what God’s loving heart wants them to know – that it’s His good pleasure to meet their needs.
“What’s the new for me, Lord?” I questioned. “What do You want to show me today that I’ve never seen before, and what do You want me to do with it?”
Ah, the light goes on.
It’s the process! God was taking the hearers from worry to trust. But it was His method that sparked my curiosity and nudged me to keep digging.
“Consider the lilies,” God said, “how they grow.”
If I were God talking to a group of anxious worriers, I’d have started by saying something like, “Hey, look UP! I’m here for you. I know you and love you. I’ve got this!”
But God did the opposite. He stepped into the world of the afraid, and their surroundings, and asked them to do the same - - to look into the lives of others - - to think about the lilies.
And I realized that’s how He wants me to love others - - to slip off my shoes and step into theirs.
Pull Up a Chair and Sit Still
Is there someone in your life right now whose fear is spraying anger all over you? Could you sit quietly before the Lord and change shoes for a few minutes . . . looking out to see what they see?