I probably had more shoes when I was a kid than I remember. The shows that I do remember are as follows:
- One pair of sneakers.
- One pair of dress shoes for church.
As mentioned earlier, if I had more than two pairs of shoes, I don’t remember. My school got the sneakers, the church got the dress shoes, and summer got my bare feet.
Speaking of bare feet, my church had a Barefoot Sunday yesterday. Our last shoe drive was in 2012, about eight years ago. Maybe we will have another one in 2028.
For several weeks, people have been dropping off their shoe donations. We started yesterday with more than fifty large boxes of shoes in all sizes. That number will rise significantly once the donations from yesterday get boxed up.
The boxes will go to Fort Pierce, Florida, and then flown to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. On arrival, trucks will haul the boxes to schools in the city and in villages and then given to students who are sponsored for Christian education through a faith-based nonprofit called Hope For Haiti’s Children.
During the services our members donated the shoes they wore to church. They came with the shoes off their feet and placed them on the stage. Then they were barefoot. We all went home without shoes. Walking from my office to my car was painful. There are always little bits of whatever on a parking lot, and my feet greeted them all. By the time I was in the car I had decided that shoes are a good thing.
But don’t worry about me, I still have shoes at home, and my collection has grown since childhood:
- Golf shoes
- Dress shoes
- Casual shoes
- Moutain shoes for Colorado
- Grubby shoes for yard work
I still go barefoot sometimes, but only around the house.
The kids in Haiti don’t have several pairs of shoes. Some don’t have any. The shoes they do have are likely too big or too small. And none will be in good condition.
People in Haiti are poor.
Jesus said in Matthew 25
“I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat.”
“I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink.”
“I had nothing to wear, and you gave me something to wear.
“I was a stranger, and you invited me in.”
“I was sick, and you took care of me.”
Those to whom he spoke were confused and asked, “Rabbi, when did we do these things for you?” And Jesus replied, “You did these things for me whenever you did them for the least of my brothers.”
I have been to Haiti many times and seen deep, gut-wrenching poverty. The Haitian people certainly qualify as the least of his brothers. They aren’t the only ones, but they are some of the ones to whom Jesus referred.
I know I shouldn’t wait for a shoe drive to donate shoes, clothing, or food. But these events remind and encourage me, and maybe all of us, to be more active in being the hands and feet of Christ.
I still have plenty to give to those who are the least.
How about you?