An ordinary pair of worn leather sandals
scented with the odor of sweat and dirt
from a thousand miles walked.
but the sweet fragrant offering of
His duty, love, and determination
to sit among and to save His children.
The straps torn and mended in many places
by a loving mother or dedicated disciple,
or perhaps by His own calloused hands.
His very footprints molded into their soles
from years of service in walking His path.
Day after day, they laid themselves down
upon the rocks that would slice His heel
and the burning sand that would grind at His feet
as He traveled where ever the Spirit led Him,
perhaps even to the foot of the cross.
Oh that I could walk the way of His sandals.
This week’s blog started in the strangest of places – a book called “How to Write Poetry.” As you may have noticed, the poet has been reawakened in me recently. The book gives the suggestion to write a poem about a pair of sneakers. Since Jesus didn’t own a pair of Nike’s, I wrote about his sandals instead. As I was writing the poem, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between my life as a disciple and the position his sandals held.
The sandals Jesus wore were nothing special. You couldn’t pick them out of a display of first century sandals if your life depended on it. What made them noteworthy enough to merit a poem was that they belonged to Jesus. Where he walked, they went. Often, I make a joke about being just a secretary or just a high school graduate and therefore nothing special. However, in my service to Jesus, I am uniquely special. He chose me and walks with me daily, guiding me along the path he wishes me to travel through life. It’s his presence alone in my life that makes me acceptable in the presence of a Holy God. And of course, it is always good to remember, that like everything else on earth, the Father has put me under Jesus’ feet.
As you know, my life has been torn apart many times and each time God has mended and renewed my life. He made me new in his power, by his will, sometimes through the actions of those he put in my life. As I journey through life with Jesus, he is molding me every day to be more like him – through the situations I encounter, the people I interact with, in the study of his Word and in prayer. As his disciple, I am called to emulate him and as his child, I am growing to resemble him more and more each day. I’ve given to him my heart and my life and he accepts my service in the offering. My desire is to serve him as he wills me to, even to the cross.
Here’s the catch – it’s so much easier to express and even intend the kind of commitment we as children of God are to have than it is to actually live it. His sandals didn’t wake up some mornings and say, “Today, I just don’t feel like doing it” and then force themselves to go with Jesus. I, however, do and because Jesus continues to give me the ability to say “no” so that my “yes” means that much more, I struggle in my desire to always follow Jesus. Perhaps the struggle itself is what makes my “yes” such a cause for rejoicing in heaven.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from ourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10
About the pictures:
Deer Lake Park, PA (August 2009)