Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Big Shoes to Fill

Lots of little girls walk around around in their mother's shoes, preening and prancing and pretending they're "big."
The allure of the patent leather or decorative bows or bold, womanly colors - not to mention that ever-elusive chunk of a heel - propels them emotionally into the future. They make-believe they're in love - that they have a family & beauty &....MAKEUP! 
Oh, the draw...
...the appeal. 
...the mystique.
It's a wonder Mamas can ever pry their shoes off those tiny feet.

Well, I didn't try my mother's shoes on.
I was a little different, I guess.
I wore my Daddy's shoes.

I was thinking of that this morning as I slipped my gray & turquoise New Balance sized 7's on, getting ready for my day.
Item imageI sat and remembered for a moment what his shoes felt like, giant on my 5 year old feet. 
(In reality Daddy wore a size 8, but they sure felt huge on my little piggies.)
I remember clop-clop-clopping around on the hardwood floors as I secretly walked around the bedroom.
I remember hiding in Daddy's closet, shoes swallowing me as I played in wonder with his Drexel Electric Shoe Shiner.  I'd watch the buffers spin 'round and 'round, one red and one black. 
A kit fit for a king.

As I poignantly remembered those precious moments, I wondered about my choice to don those black business shoes.
True, the electric shoe shiner was exciting.
But it wasn't the machine really.
And it certainly wasn't the style of the shoe. 
(Remembering back to being in Bill's General Store, mortified that Daddy demanded to see a manager when he found out that his shoe of choice had increased in price to an unreasonable $8, I can attest to the fact that Allen Edmondo Italian Loafers they were not!)
No, it was none of these things.

It was the man who walked within them.

I wanted to be like him.
I wanted to be buffed until I shone as Daddy's creativity made him shine.
I wanted to have the enthusiastic following that, as I realized from that very early age, he did.
I wanted to laugh like him; think like him; teach like him.

As I've gotten older, I recognize what Daddy had. 
It wasn't given by man or exercised by his own will.
He sought his strengths through faith.
It was that very faith that made all he created shine. 
It was his faith that made people want to be near him - listening, following his example.
It was his generosity and kindness of spirit.
It was his openness to letting God show the way. 
Yes, these qualities only grew stronger as Daddy aged, helping curb that Irish temper as he learned to patiently walk with Jesus.
I now recognize that longing in him to do what I did at five years of age.

He wanted to try on his Father's footwear, clop-clop-clopping around on his earthly feet, believing that one day he would grow enough that they would fit.
He wanted to walk in the holy steps of Jesus.
He wanted to tread that path of love.

So I guess it really doesn't matter the style of shoe I wear daily.
It doesn't matter the gender...
The size...
The cost.
As long as I walk in His steps, clop-clop-clopping along until I find the right fit, I'll know I'm treading His path, walking the road to Heaven.


  1. I love rhis. I want to cry and laugh every time I read one of these. You're awesome!

    1. Thanks, Marg. I loved this one too. Really took me back. Do you remember the shoe shiner? If memory serves, he let you use it to polish his shoes sometimes. I remember being so jealous! Thanks for reading.

  2. Dearest Cynthia, you struck a chord here. It is hard to recognize soul yearnings for what they are, to spy out the times we are really called forth to growing in the Lord. Thank you for your note today.