Wednesday, 21 March 2012

By Their Shoes You Shall Know Them

At almost every church I have attended I've received compliments on my shoes, and probably dish out even more. A lady once joked, "I could bend down in a crowd and find you by recognising your shoes!"

Because we were in church at the time I rather flippantly replied, "By their shoes you shall know them." I've often said the same about cars and other things, putting a different slant on By their fruit you shall know them.

For me, at least, my heart was checked after I said that because we can be pretty blasé about the spiritual. A Twitter quote recently cited CS Lewis as being behind the phrase we are a soul and live in a body (not ‘we live in a body and have a soul’). It is SO true.

This morning as I read Joshua 5v15* it made me think of being in church and not wearing any shoes at all. Like most women, I do love to arrive in shoes and will take them off at will. However there have been times where I have removed mine in acknowledging that the place where I am standing is holy.

Taking off my flats, my sandals, my stilettos is a decisive act, acknowledging being in the presence of the Great I AM. It’s so easy to disconnect and just go to church, sing the songs, hear the sermon and walk right out again. Taking shoes off can be a physical representation of what goes on in the heart.

Coming from a pretty formulaic background, removing shoes brings freedom. And if you happen to spy on me in church and see my feet are bare, don’t assume you know what’s going on. It may be my feet are tired. You’ll never know... ;)

If God is present and you take off your shoes and close your eyes because the place where you are standing is holy, what happens to your heart?

You decide: Would it be weird for you to take off your shoes in church to remind you of where you stand with God?

*See also Acts 7v33 and Exodus 3v5

The commander of the LORD’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. Joshua 5v15

Le chef de l'armée de l'Eternel lui répondit:
   ---Ote tes sandales de tes pieds, car l'endroit où tu te tiens est un lieu saint.
   Et Josué obéit.

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