My Beautiful Shoes
My Beautiful Shoes
Years ago, my father gave me a beautiful pair of shoes.
I’d always wanted a pair of shoes like these, but they were far more expensive than I could ever afford, for I was poor and had always worn cheap shoes.
My new shoes were everything I’d ever dreamed of, they were made just for me.
Bright and beautiful, tough and supportive.
I was overjoyed!
I was so proud of my new shoes that I showed them off wherever I went. I bragged about them to whoever would listen, and I was so careful with them, careful where I stepped, lest they get dirty or damaged.
Each night I thanked God for my new shoes, because I knew in my heart that I would never find another pair of shoes as perfect as these.
Still, like all new shoes, they took a while to get used to, time for them to conform to me, and I to them…and yes, sometimes there were hot-spots, sometimes there were blisters, as I got used to them, places where my feet were soft and weak.
Still, I loved my new shoes, and cherished them.
As time went by, I guess I got used to my beautiful shoes. As they became more comfortable, I sometimes forgot how valuable they were. Sometimes I wasn’t as careful where I stepped, sometimes I forgot to polish them everyday.
Sometimes I took them for granted.
Then, one morning, my beautiful shoes were gone.
I searched desperately, I looked everywhere, but I couldn’t find them anywhere…and I began to remember how special they were.
Without my beautiful shoes, the ground felt very cold. My feet ached and the world seemed full of hard, sharp stones that cut and bruised my feet.
I was ashamed that I had lost my beautiful shoes.
What would I tell my father? How could I explain to him that I had carelessly lost the wonderful shoes he’d given me?
Why hadn’t I been more careful?
I wept, and knew that without my beautiful shoes, I didn’t want to walk anymore.
It had been a dream.
I leapt from my bed…and there they were, right where I’d left them, my beautiful shoes!
I was overjoyed.
Even though they’d never really been lost, I felt as though I’d found them again. I remembered, anew, the joy and pride of my father’s gift.
I promised myself, that morning, that I would try not to forget again. I would try not to take for granted. I promised that I would be more careful, keeping them polished, watching where I stepped, and cherishing them as I had in those first days.
That I would thank God every day for my beautiful shoes.
For I knew that I would never find another pair like these.
And I never want to.
For Victoria, April 2008