Shoes lie.

They act all wedgy, heeled and comfy in the store.. then, they sneak up and attack with skin blistering pain in the middle of the airport.

I know. I know. It was my own fault. I have traveled enough to know never wear un-tested shoes while traveling. But these looked perfect!

They lied.

The real problem is- as soon as I realized they were more effective than steel wool at removing the skin from the tops of 8 of my 10 toes (before I ever made it through airport check-in) I should have changed my shoes.

I didn’t. I though I’d be ok. Besides- I was carrying a brown bag… and wearing a brown jacket…. I couldn’t exactly wear the alternative I had in my bag….. they were black! Matching shoes and bags is just the way I roll…. I didn’t know any better.

I do now.

For 5 days, I crept through MOPS Convention trying every pair of shoes I had. Tennis shoes didn’t work. Flat brown sandals didn’t work. My “Always comfy-yet cool” back-up black pumps didn’t work. I slipped my shoes off and on- countless times. I bought 3 new pair of WAY over priced- (and now pretty much wrecked) socks and wore them instead of shoes.

My feet looked like raw hamburger. They felt like they were on fire. My MOPS Sisters were there for me. Ever ready-and prepared- bandaids were presented with appropriate sympathy. Neosporin WITH pain reliever was a blessed balm. Extra time in the shower (a real sacrifice when you’re sharing a room with 3 other women) was gladly given. AT the end of the long days- when I just wanted to whine about my feet. No one said “shut-up—it’s your own fault” (I knew it anyways;) they just listened- with empathy and yes- the pity I wanted;)

At the airport I had been encouraged to change my shoes- I should have listened. At our training that first crazy day, I was again encouraged to just take off the shoes. I didn’t.

Was it pride?
Appearance management?
Stubbornness? Stupidity?

Probably a little of each. But, today- while I’m resting my feet and letting them heal. I have had time to think about other things I’ve “worn” that did the same kind of damage:

Attitudes that hurt but became habit.
Behaviors that hurt me (like eating cookies at midnight because they are THERE) but I am too stubborn to let go of.
Sins that seem pleasurable but cause scarring.

Shoes lie. So do attitudes, behaviors and sins. They seem like a good fit, they seem appealing. They are not. We may feel locked in- because it’s all we know. (I’m admittedly a matchy- matchy clothes and shoes kind of mom) But- in reality we simply need some help to CHANGE them, then heal the damage.

We may need confrontation about what we’re wearing. “Girl- those shoes got to go” or “Are you sure that’s an attitude you want to wear?” We may need a balm to place over our wounds. Words of love- in the face of pain. We may need a band-aid to cover and protect. A friend to help work through feelings and ideas. A friend to protect our heart. A friend to help us find something that is a better fit- something that heals instead of hurts.

Finally- we might need time to rest and heal.

How are your “shoes” fitting? What are you walking around in? Stuff that hurts but you don’t know if you want to change? Cause it’s all you know? Don’t be stubborn, like I was. I’ll be nursing these feet for days. Cute shoes will be put away for quite a while. I’ll be barefoot for a while- trying to heal. trust me- it’s not worth it… If the shoe fits- girl – go ahead and wear it- if not- CHANGE EM… and change em QUICK! Before the blisters form and the skin tears.

By Sunday- the day I came home. My toes were so bloodied and painful- that my bandaids and socks were sticking to the wounds. I needed some help getting them off. There are “other” shoes that I’ve worn for years- attitude and sin that I’ve grown so accustomed to, and that have so wounded me- that I need help with removing them.

Good thing I know someone who specializes in cleaning wounds changing hearts and healing hurts. His name is Jesus.

If you’re feeling blisters form on your heart….or that your attitude and behavioral shoes aren’t fitting- or that you’ve encountered wounds that need healing- He cares and can longs to help.

John 13
Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come
for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were
in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already
prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the
Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was
returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and
wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and
began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped
around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are
you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later
you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my
feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands
and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “A person who has had a
bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though
not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that
was why he said not every one was clean.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and
returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked
them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.
Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash
one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done
for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a
messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you
will be blessed if you do them.

Dear Lord- I pray that you’d wash my feet-my hands and face and heart. I ask you to heal my wounds and those of my sisters and brothers- God I pray that you’d give us courage to take off the shoes that hurt. I pray that you’d help us break through the pride- stubbornness and other reasons that cause us to walk in shoes that hurt. I love you Lord- and pray in your name- amen.