24 March 2009

Jesus Must Have Appreciated Footwear

I stood at the head of our kitchen table last Thursday absolutely defeated.  Giving up spending money on anything but necessities for Lent has not turned out the way I imagined it would,  I thought, stuffing my keys into my Vera Bradley.  It was supposed to show me how God provides, but it's really just showing me how much I want other things.  Heather was about to come over to go to Subway with me, a rare trip to eat out because the contents of my cupboard included no more than some dried fruit and frozen corn.  I had screwed up my solo at orchestra rehearsal for what felt like the thousandth time that afternoon.  The dress rehearsal in an hour proved to be both intense and uncomfortable.  Great.

I threw an old water bottle next to my wallet in my bag and headed through the kitchen, my fingers floating in midair, playing inaudible notes on an invisible cello as I headed for the back door.  I looked at the dogpile of shoes next to the nearly empty shoe tree in our closet.  It was regrettably too cold for flip flops.  I wonder if Amanda would mind if I borrowed her boots. I ended up concluding that we probably weren't the same size.  I poked around the pile, missing the grey corduroy clogs I'd bought at the Wal Mart in Juneau for $9 and which were, somehow, the most comfortable close-toed footwear I'd ever owned.  They mysteriously disappeared about six months ago and I've been bitching about it ever since.  Seriously, bitching.  In the words of Scot McKnight, "'Bitching' is a good, solid, Christian word.  Someone who's complaining is definitely bitching." 

Who am I to refute the Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies?  

And so I bitched in my mind while poking around the closet and tried on a pair of Converse only to conclude that it was too cold for those too and maybe I would wear my sneakers instead.  As I reached for them, a square in the shoe tree caught my eye.  ...Or maybe I'll steal Taryn's clogs just this once, I thought, wishing the ones in the shoe tree were really mine.  I reached into the square and felt a soft brush of corduroy.  Taryn's clogs are suede.  As I pulled the shoes out of the square with the sensitivity of a Biblical archaeologist, Heather knocked on the door.  I opened it, staring at the shoes I was turning over in my hands like they were gold.  

Heather stood in the doorway, staring at me.
"Are you contemplating stealing your roommate's shoes?"
I just kept turning the shoes over, investigating them for any sign of familiarity. "I don't think so."
"Oh my gosh, are those the shoes?????"
Like I said, I'd been bitching.  A lot.  

I peered into them.  Size 8.  Faded Glory.  And then I found it--a spot on the top of the left shoe, a remnant of dropping something on my foot at work over the summer.  I dropped the clogs to the ground and stepped in, feeling the familiar imprints of my own feet.  The melodius tones of "Reunited and it Feels So Good" wafted through my brain.  Heather smiled.  I smiled back.  A missed solo wasn't so much of a crisis anymore.  "It's them!" I exclaimed to a now equally ecstatic Heather.  "I don't get it!  I checked that closet a thousand times!"

We skipped off into the sunset towards Subway, arm in arm and comfy shoes on our feet.  It only figures that this event happened just when I was frustrated that God didn't seem to be providing.  But He does, even if it's something as silly and little as finding your favorite pair of shoes again.  Then again, God once spoke through the mouth of a donkey, so I suppose it was only a matter of time until He got to footwear.  And hey, God clearly must be interested in shoes...didn't John the Baptist tell Jesus that he was unworthy to untie his sandal?  

There you go.

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