top of page

Shoe Joy

I love to watch little kids play. A couple of days ago, while at the mall, I got a weird foot cramp and used it as an excuse to sit on one of the benches inside the children’s play area. Laying my bags down at my feet, I settled near the entrance to the playground and was shortly joined by a big-eyed little boy with crazy black hair. He was adorable in the way that baby orangutans are adorable.

He didn’t seem to notice me, but kept his dark eyes fixed on the entrance, a shoe box in his lap. He leaned forward in anticipation and worked his little lips side to side as he watched the feet of the children who entered. Soon, a pale little boy with wavy, red hair and impossibly green eyes skipped into the playground.

Immediately, the big-eyed boy pounced. Invading the little ginger’s personal space, he stared into the startled face and pointed at his shoes. A little too loudly, he asked, “Hey, are those new shoes?”

The little boy smiled and stuck out his foot, proudly displaying faux leather sandals that couldn’t have been out of the box for more than twenty minutes. “Yes!” he replied, happy that someone had noticed. “My mommy got them for me!”

Little Mowgli licked his lips. “They’re cool!” he approved, nodding. “My mommy got me some shoes today, too. They’re Skechers! Wanna see ‘em?” Eagerly and with fumbling fingers, he opened the shoebox and held up new blue and black Skechers. His smile faded when he saw that his new friend had already skipped away.

Shrugging, Mowgli determined not to let one person’s response steal his shoe joy. Instead, he settled on his bottom and crammed his socked feet into his new shoes. Backwards. Toes pointing in opposite directions like wooden signs at a fork in the road, he ran to join the other children, stopping every ten feet or so to stare down at his feet and wiggle his toes, undoubtedly trying to figure out why they felt different than they did in the store.

Eventually, the boy’s mother noticed his error and helped him unscramble his feet. For the rest of the half hour that I spent in the children’s play area, little Mowgli reveled in his new shoes, showing every child that slowed down for half a second his “awesome Skechers.” Some kids nodded. Some kids looked at him like he was crazy (I think it was the hair) and moved on. Some squatted to admire.

By the time I left, every shiny, painted foam element in the playground had a new name. The leopard had become the Skecher Leopard, the daisies, Skecher Flowers, and the boat, The Skecher Boat. Many of the children got caught up in the excitement and followed their Skecher-clad friend around Pied Piper style in a giggling, chanting single-file line. It seemed that almost everyone had caught Skecher fever. A few sat on their foam elements and scowled, but you can’t please everyone, right?

You know, I remember the last time that I got that excited about the shiny, new life that God has given me through Jesus. It’s not that hard. Actually, it was only last week, not that anyone around me could tell. I didn’t exactly know how to express what I was feeling and thinking, so I said nothing. I don’t think I’m the only one.

I think the trouble is that we, as Christians, try so hard not to offend others with our faith that we end up robbing them and ourselves of a lot of happiness and joy. We waste time looking for the non-existent perfect opening before talking about Jesus at all, and even then, we mull over the words we should say until we psyche ourselves out and stay quiet instead, convinced that we need more evangelistic training before starting a conversation with such potentially eternal impact.

Honestly, I think we’ve made entirely too big a deal out of “sharing Jesus.” Why can’t we, in our mountaintop moments, just come out with it, like little Mowgli did? What’s wrong with saying something like, “Hey, guess what my Heavenly Father did for me today,” or “Can I just tell you how awesome Jesus is?” Absolutely nothing.

However, if we ever do get comfortable talking about Jesus as casually and as often as the people around us discuss family problems and antidepressant prescriptions, the responses that we get will probably be mixed. Some will nod politely. Others will look at us like we are crazy, and some will really listen. Hopefully, some will become followers themselves. Sure, some will resist our Jesus joy and choose instead to sit back and scowl at us, but you can’t please everyone, right?

Share this:




Like this:

Like Loading...

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page