Headlines from First Thoughts

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Friday, December 8- Shoes of Peace

The week preceding the second Sunday of Advent prepares us for the Sunday of peace. I will confess that in our peaceful neck of the woods, we need to walk a little ways to see the world's hurts. The turmoil of Iraq, the difficulties in Sudan, the hardships of people battling AIDS, the hurts of neighbors losing jobs-- we can block all of them out if we really try. That is, until the people facing hardships walk into your world.

This happened to one of our church members this past Saturday at the Christmas brunch. He was working the shoe department of the brunch, distributing donated gently used and new shoes to guests. One man walked in wearing a pair of shoes that did not fit quite right. They were in farily good shape; but like everyone else who wears shoes, it doesn't really matter if they look good. If the shoe doesn't fit, you can't wear it. He found the right pair on our rack. After trying it on, he took his old shoes that really weren't that old and put them on the rack. Our member asked him, "Sir, don't you want to take your shoes with you?"

"No," he said, "These are in pretty good shape, and maybe someone else can use them."

Less than an hour later, another guest walked in. He needed shoes badly, and he discovered the "old" pair of shoes. He tried them on, and they were a perfect fit. They were still warm from the heat of the former owner.

Peace arrives as one needy person shares with another person out of generosity and love. Maybe we just need to be in the right place to see it walking into our world.

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