I Smell Feet
Blank stare…“McGee, where are you shoes?”… “McGee, you look like you on a beach somewhere.”… “Ummm, You do realize you don’t have on any shoes, right?”… “OMG, for a second, I thought you had on a brown pair of shoes!”
These were just a few of the comments I received Wednesday April 20, 2011 as I went “One Day Without Shoes”. Just so you know “One Day Without Shoes”, founded by Blake Mycoskie (TOMS Shoes) is a worldwide campaign that took place on April 5, 2011. For that day, everyone did not wear shoes…. AT ALL. No shoes…No Socks…ALL DAY! The purpose of the campaign is to raise the awareness of those who suffer from not having shoes to wear as well as acknowledging podoconiosis, which is a foot disease. Another part of the campaign is purchasing a pair of shoes called “Toms” and when you do that; you actually are donating a pair of shoes to someone who is in need. I know I was two weeks off with the date, but I was so convicted when I saw the campaign; I decided to do it anyway.
Apart of me is doing this for the awareness however; another part of me is doing this for a reason completely opposite. A local church here in P.G. County is Zion Church where lead Pastor, Keith Battle has coined the phrase: “Zion church is a MOVEMENT, not a monument.” A couple Sundays ago I was pleasantly surprised yet convicted when he preached the beginning of a LIFE CHANGING-PERSPECTIVE ALTERING series called “The Poor Series”. My wife and I visited that day and experienced him preach that sermon dressed and made up as a homeless man. STUNNING!... to say the least. The main takeaway from this message was “God is for the poor.” (Scripture Reference Psalm 41:1-5/Proverbs 19:17)
Since then, I’ve constantly thought about my attitude, perspective, reactions toward the poor, homeless, or less fortunate. God has definitely been using his shepherds to get this message across to His children because sometime last month, a pastor elsewhere went 30 calendar days homeless. He swapped out his nice, comfortable lifestyle to experience first hand what it felt like to be homeless. And this wasn’t a “I’ll be homeless from sun up to sun down then go back home to my family.” but 30 CALENDAR DAYS-ALL DAY of homelessness. STRIKING!
Not coincidental at all, about a week later, someone very near and dear to me called and told me they had a particular need that caused my wife and I to give of our finances, time, and resources. This also caused Veronica and I to set aside a portion of our incomes solely for the use of someone else’s need.
This morning, I hit the send button on my tweet deck app sending out the following tweet and FB status, “Dear God, Break my heart with the things that break Yours. Let me see things and people the way You see them.” My attitude, perspective, and heart toward the poor, homeless, and less fortunate haven’t been the greatest and I’ve asked God to forgive me of that. I’m no millionaire, however at times; I can act as if I have it all. Buying shoes/clothes just because I want some and not even wearing them. Wasting food that I very well could give away and the like.
I sent out the above tweet/FB status because if I call myself a follower of Christ, the things the hurt Him should hurt me. The way He sees things; I should view them the same. By a long shot, I’m nowhere near perfect. I may not be where I want to be, but thank God I ain’t where I used to be! I may have been a little behind with participating in the “One Day Without Shoes”, but I have most certainly have a growing affinity toward those who go without shoes everyday, poverty stricken, homeless, and/or the less fortunate. Going one day without shoes put a lot in perspective for me today; realizing I don’t thank God for shoes to protect my feet from things that are on the ground. Even though I didn’t wear shoes today, I’m able to put some on tomorrow where there’s someone out there who doesn’t have a closet to go and CHOOSE which pair to put on. I also experienced alienation, ridicule, and strange looks throughout this day. I’ve always been the “cool person”. Never an outcast. I never had a problem with “fitting in”. That day was very different. Nobody asked if I was okay. If… everything was fine. If there was anything they could do for me. When people saw me walking toward them in my shirt/tie/slacks/shiny belt/ and messenger bag… but no shoes; they walked to the other side of the street. It didn’t help that day was 4/20, which is a recognized day for smoking weed. So people thought I was high! That did make me laugh a bit though.
All that to say, I get it now. Thank You God for giving me that day to experience what someone encounters daily even what you experience with being mocked, ridiculed, and the like. This will live and echo in my heart for a lifetime.
God is for the poor!