Decade birthdays are not for the faint of heart. Just the thought of my 60th birthday a decade ago paralyzed me. I told my three daughters to expect to find me comatosed that birthday morning. Daughter Elizabeth arranged a limo (not a hearse) to transport me (not to the cemetery), but to a surprise gathering of many friends at Lisa’s Tea Treasures near our home in the San Francisco Bay Area.
One of the friends at the party, Mary Schaller, gave me a customized birthday gift of 60 footprints, inscribed with “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things.” (Romans 10:15) Her gift jolted me out of my self-centeredness to the realization that God had grown me spiritual feet which she said “would run others right into His presence.” And didn’t El Elyon, the Most High God choose 36 inch short Judy to carry His Good News to the disabled in Romania, and ultimately to Thailand and Brazil and throughout the USA? Proof that footless folks can have beautiful feet.
Now I’m carrying Mary’s foot idea into my seventh decade. Upon request, hubby David made me 70 copies of our grandson Finn’s footprint. One for each of the seventy people who have left their footprints on my heart. Each foot represents a family member or friend, who has helped me, heard me, held me, held me accountable and heralded me on. To each and every one I am eternally grateful that you allowed God to use you to mold me into who I am today.
What about You?
Now I must ask: How about making a list of your own containing those who have left footprints on your heart? Not one of us makes it through this life solo, do we? Adam had his Eve, Moses had his Aaron and Hur, Ruth had her Naomi, Jonah had his whale, Job had his 3 friends (with friends like that who needs enemies?) and Jesus had his disciples.
Instantly certain prize people will come to mind. I listed them chronologically. But what about those we’d nominate for the booby prize. Booby-prizers did not make it to my poster, though God uses each experience and each person to mold us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. No thing and no one is wasted in God’s economy.
Just so you know Footprint Number 1 for me is Elohim – the Creator God Who met me in utero and over the past seventy years has proven my birth defect was no fetal fluke, but holy design. And Footprint Number 70 is Yeshua – the Hebrew name for the English name JESUS. Yeshua has companioned with me in the pit of those early wilderness years. He’s walked with me, carried me when necessary – my Forever Escort from the womb to the tomb.
“How do you pronounce the name Yeshua?” I asked a Jewish Christian friend recently.
“YeShoea,” she answered with the emphasis on the middle syllable.
“YeSHOEa. Shoe? Shoe!” I was overjoyed to discover the correct pronunciation of Yeshua tied in so perfectly with my story. I met Him, thanks to my orthopedic shoe. And His redeeming love (Go’el the Redeemer) turned the shame and pain of my birth defect gold. My gold shoe is proof of that.
As we see the Lord’s footprints throughout our story, He becomes the love of our life. I love Him and I also love feet and shoes. I love shoes of every kind and my shoe collection keeps growing. High up on the top shelf of my closet (since I can’t wear them) are a pair of pearl- bedecked high heels from a friend in Texas, pink cowgirl boots from a little girl in Michigan, a bronze penny-loafer from a shoe-lover in Nebraska and a pair of rooster slippers, that I couldn’t resist at Goodwill. My life is filled with an ever-growing number of shoes as people see God in my gold shoe story.
My most recent shoe was a gift from 90 year young Alice who attended my Living in the Names of God Retreat. She accompanied this prize Rogue River rock with a piece of paper containing these wise words:
This year I’ve added The Master’s shoe to my collection. But please excuse me. I have to go now and blow out my 70 candles before they burn the house down. And the cake? A carrot cake with cream cheese frosting in the shape of my gold shoe.