It only happened once or twice a year, just according to how fast my little feet grew, but I can tell you that one of my most vivid and treasured memories was of dear Mother Charity and I going into the big city of Kalamazoo to shop for new shoes. Now the little Shirley Temple dresses so in vogue at that time were darling as well as the silky lace trimmed slips, but it was the black patent Sabbath shoes for church that I was most excited about. My sweet mother needed all the patience she could muster as we trekked from one shoe store to another looking for just the perfect pair of Sabbath shoes. On more than one occasion I can still hear Mother expressing sympathy for "that poor young man that had worked so hard" only to be informed by Miss Priss (yours truly) that she would think about it, adding "perhaps I'll be back later." With obvious empathy Mother would thank the helpful young clerk profusely as she turned to leave, giving a final glance at the stack of the black patent leather rejects.
Through the ensuing years I have had all kinds of shoes, all the way from tennis to heels, some trimmed with bows, others with buckles, ones that tied, or laced up, as well as shoes in a myriad of colors. As I think back, perhaps part of my fascination for shoes sterns from my earliest experience and deprivation. Memories of the many times there were no shoes to warm our little feet, even in the coldest, snowy winter days when I, along with my younger sister and baby brother, lived in a drafty tar-paper shack before our adoption.
Shoes, by the way, are mentioned in the Bible 31 times. One of the most powerful and meaningful of all the references to shoes is found in Ephesians 6:15. In the previous verses it is giving a description of what we need to wear in the last days of this old earth. It talks about how we need to be wearing an armor, something that will shield us from the darts of the evil one, and that's where the shoes come in. I particularly like the paraphrase by Jack Blanco in verse 15 found in The Clear Word where it says, "Put on the shoes of the good news of Christ's peace." As we live day by day in a world that has anything but peace, 1 long for that time, as well as treasure, this precious promise that through Christ I can have real peace. As we all know, this ultimate peace will only happen when we get to heaven. And so my friends, whether I will be wearing sandals, boots, or those golden slippers that the beautiful old spiritual talks about, or even a pair of shiny black patent leather shoes, I can't wait to walk those streets of gold. By God's grace let's all plan to be there.