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Stepping out of your issues into freedom

Stacey Hume is on the World Race in Haiti. She is pressing into God as a part of her team of seven. She wrote the following making a comparison between the issues she walks in and the shoes she walks in. It left me asking the question, “What issues do I walk in and what issues do those around me …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Stacey Hume is on the World Race in Haiti. She is pressing into God as a part of her team of seven. She wrote the following making a comparison between the issues she walks in and the shoes she walks in. It left me asking the question, “What issues do I walk in and what issues do those around me want to give me?”
 
I have shoes. Literal and figurative. I have one pair of broken flip
flops, one pair of chacos and a pair of tennis shoes. I also have a
closet full of other shoes back at home. But there is another type of
‘shoe that I have; issues. Family issues, personality issues,
issues of worth, respect, love. And I have more than my share of those
as well.

As
a team, we have spent a lot of time talking about our ‘shoes. We have
walked and talked miles and miles in each others’ ‘shoes in an effort to
understand and help one another. We live in community, so often time
we even share our ‘shoes. Personally, I have a lot of disappointed
shoes. I have an equally large number of fearful shoes. I have ‘shoes
for days when I don’t like my family, when I don’t like myself and other
such special occasion wear. And as we have been taking the time to
walk in each others’ shoes as a team, we realize just how very
devastating some of them can be for growth. And we come to understand
how painful some of them are, without us even realizing it. Often we
have been functioning for so long on sub-par footwear, we just get used
to them.

Among the discussions that we have had about shoes and the
parallels that we can draw, Samantha came up with a pretty poignant
remark concerning the holocaust museum in Washington D.C. In the
museum there is a room full of children’s shoes. Children that were
murdered. And the Nazis that gassed them did not see them for their
humanity, but instead stripped them of the only valuable thing they had.
Their shoes. So often times we look at each other in the same
mentality. We judge each other based on the issues that we carry, and
the way that everything we are reflects our imperfections. It is all
too easy to latch onto these flaws and define each other by them,
instead of looking past the shoes to see the person walking in them. I
am guilty of this. And I know you are guilty of this as well.

But
two days ago, I felt called to take off my shoes. Figurative and
literal. I have watched hundreds of Haitians go day to day with no
shoes, and wondered what it would be like to walk on the broken ground.
And I have often wondered what the freedom of not having to wear any of
my ish-shoes would feel like for a day. And so with boldness I walked
out, in bare feet. And three of my teammates joined me.

I
did not know what I expected to learn from this exercise. I just
wanted to challenge myself and ask God to carry me on. And he did. He
carried me on, when we arrived at the ministry site and Daniel got so
ill he collapsed. He carried me when He showed me someone’s need and
asked me to fill it.   He carried me, as we walked back the 2 miles
from Tigennen in bare feet, through slums and streams and broken
bottles, the same way we had just come ten minutes before. He carried
me as we went to the clinic. Ran tests. Rested, and prayed. He
carried me when walking through the market every single person laughed
at us. And he showed me that when you are without your issues/shoes,
people will try to give you their own. Don’t take them. It’s a
dangerous game to play. I prayed more than I have in a long time,
because when you are barefooted, every step that you take has to be
intentional. There is no room to stray from the path. The ground is
covered in broken bottles, metal shards, rough earth, and fallen
buildings all of which can cause injury. And underneath our ‘shoes, our
souls are tender and unprepared for the world we live in.

There
were a thousand and one miracles that happened on that day. And no
one, not one of the four of us cut our feet. They hurt, oh man did
they hurt. But I felt like I grew closer to God and my team through
this. I didn’t feel like it was a day without shoes, I felt like it was
the day I finally let God carry me where He wanted me to go.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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