“Mommy, I can wiggle my toes!” — A Shoe Story
If you have been wondering about the significance of Love in the Laces, or what is happening to the shoes that have been given to Women’s Outreach, then I am sure this story will be an encouragement to you.
Last week, a mom connected with Women’s Outreach for the first time to inquire about school supplies for her children. She was of course invited to come down to the Centre so that her children could access some supplies necessary to get them going again this school year.
Upon arrival, she and her children were met by a staff member and taken to the supply room. As they were walking down the hallway, the staff noticed that these children were wearing shoes that had a lot of duct tape on them. They realized that the soles of the shoes were layered with strips of tape to cover holes, and the sides were patched up with tape to cover tears. Each shoe told the same story — with some electrical tape for variety.
After this family had chosen what they needed for paper and pens and erasers, they were led into the shoe room and the kids were told that they could each pick out a pair of shoes. The mother broke down in tears at this point, and the kids were in awe at the array of shoes in front of them. While one staff member helped the kids with shoes, the others met with the mom to find out more of her story — and then they made a decision. They told the kids to each pick out a pair of shoes a size bigger as well so that they would have another pair to grow into.
I made sure to tell the staff how grateful I was for their discernment and compassion in letting this family access not just one, but two pairs of shoes each. It confirmed in me that we are partnering with a very worthwhile organization. At this point I had tears in my eyes and this staff member looked at me and teared up as well. “You know what got us today?” he asked. “When the little one stood up in her new shoes and looked at mom in amazement and said, “Mommy, I can wiggle my toes!” The old duct taped shoes had been too small for so long that it had prevented this little one from wiggling her toes.
As I thought back on this story later, and even as I type it out for you to read, I am imagining the conversations in that home when they spread out all their shoes and read the notes attached. I am thinking about the fact that God knew about this little family when people from CrossRoads Church were wrestling with the giving, the purchasing, and the writing of those notes.
Because someone was obedient and wrestled well, a little child is wiggling her toes in delight. A mother is overwhelmed by God-driven generosity and most likely re-reading all those notes and pondering many things. God is at work.