"Walk a mile in My Shoes” is the name of an old song by Joe South. Some of the lyrics say, “If you walk a mile in my shoes, you know how I feel, what makes me hurt, what gives me joy; and I, if I tried your shoes on would I say, “These aren’t so bad? These are nearly pain free, nearly a perfect fit?” But are they?
Have I walked a mile in a widow’s shoes, as she longs for the familiar comfort of the one who used to lie beside her at night? Or a mile in the shoes of someone who has had the health stripped from their body and would give anything to have a portion of the quality of life I enjoy? Have I walked a tenth of a mile in a homeless person’s worn shoes as he endures the scorching heat coming up from the pavement and bathes in the cold water of public restrooms for lack of better? Has my home been demolished by the flooding waters of a hurricane or tornado? Have I lived through losing family as those who are now burying children and loved ones like the families affected by the recent murders at Sandy Hook Elementary? No, I have not but I grieve along with those families and our nation.
"A voice is heard in Ramah, (and now America) weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." Matthew 2:18
Christmas coming doesn’t alleviate the normal pains of life that we go through. I know several people that have lost loved ones and I weep for them this Christmas season and pray that they can find peace in the beauty of the season once again. The grief process takes time, and we know it won’t be this Christmas; this is just a fact we can’t get around. The pain will be numbing and constant for a long time. For them we pray.
We celebrate the birth of One qualified to know what it feels like to walk a mile in our shoes. Born lowly, he lived a life of submission to God’s will, and took what should’ve been our walk up a lonely hill to death on a cross. He has walked more than a mile and left a trail of tears; His tears intermingling with mine, we share sorrow, we share love, we share life.
Some Christmas’s are painful. When the tears I have cried are stored in His bottle, and I am drained, He becomes my Restorer, my Strength. When I complain, the way is dark, and not what I expected or hoped for; He shows me a new path out of the wilderness. A new path for the world-weary shoes that I wear-- that He wore first.
Donna Collins Tinsley