Honey, why are you standing on your tiptoes? My youngest daughter shrugged her shoulders and said, she wanted to look taller….and she’s just sure she’s never going to grow. Oh, how I understand that feeling. I remember being one of the shortest girls in 5th grade. How I wished I would grow faster, but some things can’t be rushed or manufactured.
There have been times in my life when I’ve tried to do the same spiritually. I put on spiritual stilts of sorts and try to seem bigger, or more together than I really am. Being a leader, and pastor’s wife, seemed to require a certain level of spiritual “have it all togetherness”. It’s been a challenge given my personality, which is more of a “wear my heart on my sleeve” kind of person. In the 22 years of leading multiple ministries I’ve tried on a variety of fancy, high heel shoes, and did my best fitting into them. Often I felt like a teen wearing stilettos, awkwardly moving about without confidence. (I’m still not comfortable in heels.😉) It’s the pull of wanting to look one way, but inside feeling very differently. There is a lure to the adoration and idolization that can happen when you look spiritually taller. It’s nice to be looked up to, rather than looked down upon.
I’ve tried living out my faith both ways, in heels, looking polished, and barefoot, worn and honest. What I’ve come to understand is God uses imperfections much more than He ever uses manufactured faith. When we approach Him barefoot and dirty, He cleans us up and uses all our fissures and fractures to make a beautiful mosaic of our lives. In sharing my pain, mistakes, fears, and the miracle of God’s glorious grace, it encourages people to take their own shoes off and get honest. They can risk removing their polished shoes baring their humble feet. Healing and growth take place in honest bare feet, not manufactured perfection.
Offering honest, bare feet to people can leave us feeling exposed, and exposure can lead to pain, as people will poke at your flaws and honesty. They can either choose to get honest and barefoot with you, or point judgemental fingers at your dirty feet, gossiping and casting stones. Do it anyway. Your bare feet have room to grow and their feet will remain pinched in phony high heels. When the turbulent winds and storms of life hit, you will have the confidence of solid footing….they will slip and fall. The higher the heel, the farther the fall. Jesus didn’t wear fancy shoes. He wore dirty sandals, and I’m no where near worthy to fit into His shoes, let alone glossy heels. I’ll stick with bare feet, even if it means getting stepped on.
My faith doesn’t need dressing up and neither does yours. Kick your shoes off, make yourself at home with Jesus, and share honestly. You will grow faster and the people in your life will have the opportunity to grow with you. If they choose to step on your dirty feet, He will wash and heal your wounds. Have you been dressing up your faith? Trying to maintain an image that you’ve got it all together, while secretly hiding your “dirt”? Remove your self made shoes of perfection, and bare your dirty feet before Jesus. He’s masterful at cleaning feet. Lord, help us be barefoot and humble before you.🙏 We can do all things through Him!💪👣
2Cor.12:9~But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2Cor.12:10~This is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
John 13:14~Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.