I admit it, I have shoe “envy”. There are three or four ladies at my church that I check out their shoes every Sunday. They wear such amazing beautiful shoes that I don’t have and wish I did. I “envy” them.
God formed me with a foot that is impossible to fit. I have a short, narrow kid-sized foot. It functions great. It supports my weight and gets me where I need to go when I walk on it. But it is a pain when it comes to shoe shopping! I can’t go to Walmart to buy the cute stylish shoes, mine are hard to find and expensive.
When I was in college, I was shopping with a friend and found a beautiful pair of heels that fit perfectly. I didn’t have the money in my checking account. I knowingly wrote a hot check! I went home with shoes in hand. I told my mom. All she said was, “How much money do you need to cover the check.” She handed me the cash to deposit in my account. Nothing was ever said about illegally writing a hot check. She knew my issues with finding shoes that fit!
I haven’t worn a nice, stylish dress in years. I love dresses. I can’t find a shoe that fit to wear with a dress. I own tennis shoes, a pair of Converse high-tops, cowboy boots for ranch work and casual sandals. I own nothing fancy. This is not because I don’t want it, I can’t find it to fit. Little girl’s dress shoes look silly on a middle-aged lady whose hair is graying. I don’t wear dresses.
When they were new and clean.
Occasionally, I do get into a mood with God and complain. I would like to be the stereotypical woman that has a closet full of shoes. I like pretty shoes. But that is not what God had planned for me. I own five pairs of shoes, six if you count my cowboy boots. This is a first world Christian problem. I understand that. My “envy” does not cause me to sin. But, it could. God’s word says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy….” This is found in 1 Corinthians 13:4. Another word for envy is jealous. Oh my, that word hits me harder than envy. In our times, the word jealousy is easier to understand.
I admit that the title of this post is inaccurate. I did it on purpose to get you to think. In the last paragraph, I said that my “envy” does not cause me to sin. That is because I don’t envy other women’s shoes. I admire their shoes. Somehow God taught me that there is a fine line between envy and admiration. Envy is done without love. Admiration is done with love. If I envied another’s shoes, I tear them down with my thoughts and words. There is no peace and harmony where there is jealousy. I won’t lie, I would enjoy pretty shoes. But, it is not in God’s plan for me to own them. He has given me the appreciation of what I cannot have to build up others. What woman doesn’t enjoy being told that they look good? I notice shoes. I use it as an opportunity to compliment women on their looks. I start with the shoes. Then I go on to say something like these shoes were the perfect choice to match your outfit. And the outfit brings out your beauty. The conversation lasts 10 seconds and I have made women smile.
I have done this for years. I have done it with those that I know personally and with strangers. Since the motivation is love, God can work. I will never know what that simple comment meant. But God does.
I may never get to wear fancy shoes for the rest of my life. That is okay. God has given me the ability to appreciate them and to compliment others. I have no idea how he uses this “gift” to touch others all the time. But, I know he does because I have seen the smiles it brings to women’s faces.
My kid’s size 2, dog chewed work boots.
Remember my post How to Handle the Interruptions of Life? The same cute, adorable Border Collie ate a chunk out my boot. Since they are ranch work boots, the missing piece only adds character.