DayBreaks for 10/10/05: Putting On God’s Shoes
It’s quiet on the street. Deadly quiet. I can’t help but wonder if this is what hell looks like – without the screams.
“Ghost town.” That phrase seems to fit, at least partially. One of the best preserved ghost towns of the old west is Bodie, California, where the wind blows the sandy dust up and down the street that once was witness to gunfights and drunken brawls between the silver miners who labored there. I’ve been there several times and it’s sort of like this, but there’s a couple major distinctions. Bodie is far cleaner and Bodie doesn’t have the stink that is everywhere on this street.
I don’t know the name of the street we’re on because the street signs are gone, either blown or washed away. The houses tell me this was once a beautiful neighborhood – most of them are, or I should say, were brick. But as we walk this street there are no children holding mock gunfights or wrestling on the yard with their best friends. There are no children here – praise God for that.
A pastor recently told a story worth repeating, about children drawing pictures of God and of Jesus. Their pictures of God showed him with white hair, a white beard, a smiling face and a flowing white robe. Their pictures of Jesus showed him with white hair, a white beard, a smiling face and a flowing white robe, too. But there was a difference. They drew sandals on the feet of Jesus. I don’t know what the children were thinking when they drew their pictures, but it seemed to be indicating that Jesus gave feet to God so that we could see Him, hear Him, touch Him. And that made their pictures different.
We like to visit places where famous people have walked or slept or where great things have happened. “Abraham Lincoln slept here.” “George Washington crossed the Delaware here in 1776.” Shiloh. Manassas. Bull Run. Fredricksburg. Gettysburg. The beaches of Normandy. Dealey Plaza in Dallas, TX. Ford’s Theater in Washington DC. There is something about being where history altering things have happened that changes you inside.
Last week as our relief team walked through one of the neighborhoods in Chalmette, Louisiana in St. Bernard’s Parish, we wept. Our hearts fell out of us and it seemed as if our insides melted. Some stopped in their tracks and wept in the middle of the street – but that was OK because there were no cars anywhere except ours.
When I put on my shoes that morning, I didn’t really think too much about where I’d be walking that day. Even as we walked the streets, I didn’t realize the truth and reality of what was happening. It was only on Sunday (yesterday) that I knew. The streets of the neighborhood may have looked abandoned, but I know now that before we had visited those streets of destruction, God has walked those streets…and wept. And when we were walking there, we were walking on Holy Ground because God had been (and still was!) there. At the time, all I could see or apprehend was desolation. How blind I was. How blind we are as we walk the streets, campuses, hospital corridors each day. The reality is that no matter where we go or when we go there, God has walked there, and is walking there even now. Holy Ground is everywhere, for God has been there since the beginning of time.
When you put your shoes on this morning, chances are that you never thought that you’d walk on Holy Ground this day. Open your eyes a little bit more and perhaps you’ll see His footprint, perhaps you’ll hear His sobs as He cries over the devastation of His creation and of the shattered lives of men and women overtaken in sin. And perhaps, hopefully, you’ll join Him in His weeping. And also perhaps, you’ll think about it in the morning when you again put on your shoes that you are the only Jesus many will see…you are putting on God’s shoes and making Him visible. What an awe-inducing responsibility we have been given. May we wear the shoes and reflect the image well this day.
Eph. 6:15 – For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared.
PRAYER: Father, we can never fill Your shoes, but let us walk and live in imitation of You to a broken world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2015 Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>