August 21, 2013

August 12, 2013: ‘Can I Give Her My Shoes?’


By Glen Schmucker

Some people go to conventions to attend the convention. I go to see old friends. I’ll stick my head into this or that breakout session now and then. But the last few years, I’ve learned so much more that happiness is something to believe, something to do and someone to love.

At a recent convention, it was so good to see so many friends, so energizing and life-giving. One of those old friends was Scott, who has worked for Buckner International for almost 20 years. I found him at the Buckner booth and we laughed, reminisced and dreamed together for almost two hours.

Part of that reminiscing had to do with our common experiences of joy in ministering to orphans internationally. Two years ago, Scott told me, they took their then-15-year-old daughter, Claire, to Kenya on a mission trip to deliver shoes to orphans. Multiple thousands of pairs of shoes had been donated from all over the United States.

The mission team was there to give them away, one pair at a time. In one village, after they’d given away all the shoes they had, Claire spotted one little girl who’d not gotten a pair.

“Dad, can I give her my shoes?” Claire asked. “They’re brand new. I just put them on this morning.” 

“No, sweetheart, those are your shoes. We’ll be sure and get her a pair,” he said.

“But, Dad, she’s the only one who didn’t get a pair. I can’t leave her without any.”

“It will be OK,” Scott said. “Besides, it’s too dangerous. Just walking from here back to the van you could cut your foot and get a serious infection.”

It seems that something about the word “dangerous” sparked inside Claire’s young heart as it ricocheted off the gospel she’d heard all of her life. She leaned in closer and said, “Then you’ll just have to carry me.”

With her dad out of arguments, Claire bared her eternal soul, pulled off her new shoes and put them on the orphan’s bare soles. The whole ministry team was in tears as Dad picked up his not-so-little-anymore-but-big-hearted girl and carried her back to the van.

When Claire gave that little girl her shoes, Jesus became flesh through her in that Kenyan village. An eternal transaction was completed. A little orphan felt loved in a way that only a pair of shoes can make possible. Claire had something to believe, something to do about it and someone to love because of it.

Heaven’s eternal happiness is just one pair of bare soles away.

Glen Schmucker is a graduate of Hardin-Simmons University and Southwestern Seminary and has served as pastor of churches in Texas and Arkansas. He recently made a career shift to writing and serving as a hospice chaplain in San Antonio.

Prayer of the Week:
-God, Your loving hand has given us all we have. Help us to honor You with our possessions and be faithful stewards of what You have given us as we remember the account which we must one day give. Give us opportunities this week to serve others using the gifts You have graciously entrusted to us.


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