Kids do the funniest things. Here is a paper my kindergartner Joel proudly brought home from school:
As Joel shoved the drawing into my hands, I stifled a giggle. I tried to get him to elaborate, but I didn’t get much out of him except that God is a rock and a shoe. I think he just wanted to go play Minecraft, the little stinker.
I get that God is a rock. But, a shoe? Hmmm….
What first sprang to my mind was a pair of steel-toed work boots. Unfortunately, some see God as a domineering, bossy, jealous, judge stomping around, sucking all the fun out of life. Even worse, some see disasters—both natural and man-made—as a punishment from God. God gives us what we deserve, right? Stomp, stomp, stomp.
Thank goodness I know better than that! I have a whole closet full of God shoes that I wear. Maybe you can relate?
When I joined the Catholic Church Easter of 2000, God seemed like a sparkly high-heeled shoe. Lots of bling and perhaps pinching my toes a bit. OK, maybe a lot. The Church, with all Her history and traditions, ancient prayers and Communion of Saints, incense and holy water, and the Eucharist—oh, how the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist was beautiful and sparkly to me! I didn’t quite “get” the Blessed Mother stuff yet, being a work in progress, so I felt a little like Cinderella’s step sister, trying to shove my big, ugly foot into a beautiful slipper. Over time, God molded me, making it fit.
As I learned more and experienced firsthand the beauty of the Catholic Church, my Lord became comfortable. Kind of like a comfy pair of tennis shoes. I felt loved, supported, strong, and ready to run the race, fighting the good fight.
I became so comfortable that I got a little lazy. Busy raising little ones, I left little time for myself to spend with Jesus. In hindsight, I kicked my God shoes off, choosing to go barefoot.
Of course, God didn’t really go anywhere, but He let me walk barefoot. Life continued. My two young sons regressed into autism. They were very, very sick. Trying to heal them, my bare feet became bruised and blistered, then cut and bleeding.
God told me it was going to be OK. He soothed and healed me, letting me put Him on like a warm pair of fuzzy socks. I was on my knees, not even needing shoes to walk anyway. This is when I feel closest to Jesus. This is why He lets me go barefoot.
Depending on the day and circumstance, God can be a different shoe for me now. My closet is full!
Sometimes He is a comfy pair of flip-flops. Oh, how I hate wearing shoes! They are confining and uncomfortable! Flip-flops let me wear just a little bit of God for the moment.
Many days He is a strappy pair of wedge sandals. I am called to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, so sandals are perfect! My middle-aged mommy feet can’t wear stilettos anymore, so this is as fancy as it gets. God is so glorious, so wonderful, so magnificent! I see God in everything—in nature, in my family, and especially during Confession and Holy Communion.
Good grief, the possibilities are endless! Sometimes He is a pair of high top toddler shoes with a bell tied in the shoelaces. Jingle, jingle! Don’t forget about Me, I’m still here as you teeter along!
How about a pair of rubber rain boots, keeping me dry as I slush through the muddy messes of life?
Most days, He is a cute pair of flats for me. Sturdy but attractive. Easy and comfortable. Supporting me as I do never-ending laundry and errands.
What kind of God shoes are in your closet?