Here’s the challenge: Don’t wear your shoes for a month!
The saying goes, “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.” Our goal isn’t to judge anyone, but we want to remember those who don’t even have shoes so that we can pray for them and return thanksgiving to God. There a millions of poor men and women who do not enjoy the luxury of a good shoe. We want to identify with them; and keep our hearts sensitive to them. Much of what I take from the parable of the good Samaritan is not that we need big programs for those who have been mistreated; but we need a bold sensitivity to them. This is a challenge to keep the poor constantly in our prayer and also to keep our heart thankful for the simple luxuries that we may take for granted like our shoes.
I know that your boss probably don’t want you walking around work barefooted. But if your boss won’t let you work barefooted, put your shoes on at the door. Don’t let little things creep in that may keep you from this challenge. The goal of this exercise is to keep the poor before the Lord in prayer, but also your feet are supposed to hurt. Francis Chan reminded me that God does not love us more than them. We are not more important or in any way superlative the poorest of the poor. Your feet might get wet or perhaps get burned by hot asphalt. Let that be a place of thanksgiving as you remember that you own shoes (probably more than even one pair). I think I’ve caught a cold from walking around without shoes on; but I praise God that I live in a place where I can be easily treated and comforted for every one of my symptoms. Let the symbolic presence of poverty be an opportunity to praise God for His abundant provision for us. And use this challenge to remind you to the high calling of justice and faithfulness.