It's no secret that I love shoes and I have many pairs. You can tell that I do wear many of the pairs I have because of the number of pairs of shoes strewn around my shoe room (yes I have a shoe room, which other people would call a porch, however, for me it is the living place of my shoes that I walk through to get in and out the house).
My favourite pair of shoes are my TUK shoes with stars on. They have something sophisticated about them (well, they have heels) and something a little bit woo about them (I love anything with stars on - reminds me to shine like a star in the universe - Phil 2:5). I don't wear them very often. They are my best shoes, so they are saved for those best occasions when I don't need to walk and I like to tower above people who are less than 5 foot 5 (rather than 5 foot 3). By putting on a different pair of shoes I feel different - tall, relaxed, warm, sophisticated, business like, like a hill walker... but inside I am always still me - the person who loves shoes.
Today I was looking around the lecture room at college (I was concentrating, honest) and looking at peoples shoes. What did the different shoes say about them? I have to say that it was the Baptists that had the best shoes - I don't know why that was - perhaps we are more shoe focused - and of course it is all down to my own perception of.... well..... shoes.
Was the person with bare feet a free spirit?
Is the one who takes his shoes off every lecture just too relaxed?
Are the ones with the boring shoes..... well........ boring?
Were the ones with the trainers the most ready to run?
Does it matter what shoes you wear? I have to confess that I am judgemental about shoes. I once decided someone would not be a good youth worker because of his choice of footwear (I was a impressionable teenager at that point.... but....)
I think that shoes probably do say something about who you are. They are a floor level identification mark. If I saw shoes first I might be able to work out what kind of person someone might be.... and I am going to try it next time I meet someone new. If I look down first, it's because I'm working you out by your shoes.
What struck me today (as we were talking about judgemental attitudes in our two days of racial justice training and I was judging people by their shoe choice) is that shoes might say something about our personality, but they don't express who we really are. It's where we go with those shoes that matters.
Those shoes that I keep for best.... perhaps I need to wear them more. In my journey I need to be prepared to squelch in the mud, walk so far my feet are covered in blisters, get wetter than I have ever been before, because where God has called me might mean that I could be taken to places that are not comfortable and are not easy.
Shoes say something about who we are, but our true identity can only be found in Christ. My toes need to always point to him as I seek to follow his path.
(The picture is my current shoe want, but in red. I go in the shop and I dream..... http://www.schuh.co.uk/red-or-dead/womens-silver-red-or-dead-shirley-glitter/1164527660/)