Yesterday’s writing got me to thinking about shoes and boots and feet.
I think most of us are familiar with “putting on the full armor of God”. It’s found in Ephesians 6: the waist girded with truth, the breast plate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, but don’t forget the feet.
We are told to ‘shod’ our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. What does that mean exactly?
Did you ever step into your daddy’s boots as they sat waiting by the back door? They felt so huge and stiff, the top of the booting practically hitting your knees. I loved my daddy’s work boots. He worked in the mills in southern Oregon before eventually moving us to Alaska and Gildersleeve’s Floating Logging Camp where he drove log truck.
I was born in Washington D.C. at Walter Reed Memorial Hospital. My dad was in the army but when I was about 9 months old my parents moved back to Grants Pass. It was a long trek. Pulling a trailer with all their possessions, my parents started their journey with a 9-month-old baby, a hope and a prayer.
Mom has shared several stories regarding that trip but my favorite, by far, is the story of my dad’s feet.
Mom had been driving, dad and baby Jeanette were sleeping. Mom pulled off at a little diner to get a soft drink or something. There were a couple of guys in the diner that started flirting with my mom. She ignored them. They continued to harass her until she paid for her order and headed out the door. They followed her, cat-calling the whole way, until that is, they got close enough to our car. My dad was stretched out on the back seat and with his large feet propped up in the window. Mom said without a word, those two men made an about-face and headed right back where they came from.
Men’s work boots can be very helpful. Ladies, I read a tip for those women who live alone or are home alone for large periods of time. Head to the local thrift store and buy a pair of the largest men’s work boots you can find. Place them just outside your front door. It has the appearance that the man of the house took off his boots before entering.
I think what you put on your feet says a lot about a person and perhaps their profession. There are so many styles and prices and materials. You could spend as little as $10 at a large department store or as much as $50,000 for a pair Testoni shoes.
If you wanted to get real fancy, you could purchase a pair of Air Jordan Silver Shoes for $60,000. If that’s not rich enough for you the world’s most expensive pair of shoes, the Passion Diamond Shoes, are made from diamonds and gold; took over 9 months to design, feature several hundred diamonds and is worth $17 million.
Shoes and shoe-design has certainly come a long way in the last 100 years or so, but foot coverings have been around as long as man has been around.
The 5 most common materials used to make shoes today is fabric, synthetics, rubber, foam and leather. (kicksguide.com)
But what did people use 2,000 years ago?
The Biblical sandal was either leather or wooden footboards held to the foot with finer leather thongs. (historyofsandals.com)
According to Wikipedia sandals appear in wall paintings found in archaeological digs dating the Old Testament in the Levant and were not very different from those used in Rome and Egypt. Reminders of such sandals were found at Masada and the Cave of Letters. In ancient times those sandals were made of non-processed leather and dry grass, and had strings or ropes made of simple, cheap materials. Though, sometimes golden or silver beads and even gems were added.”
I found passages in Ezekiel I wanted to share with you today. It’s describing God’s love for Jerusalem, and it is beautiful.
“‘On the day you were born your umbilical cord was not cut, you weren’t bathed and cleaned up, you weren’t rubbed with salt, you weren’t wrapped in a baby blanket. No one cared a fig for you. No one did one thing to care for you tenderly in these ways. You were thrown out into a vacant lot and left there, dirty and unwashed—a newborn nobody wanted.
“‘And then I came by. I saw you all miserable and bloody. Yes, I said to you, lying there helpless and filthy, “Live! Grow up like a plant in the field!” And you did. You grew up. You grew tall and matured as a woman, full-breasted, with flowing hair. But you were naked and vulnerable, fragile and exposed.
“‘I came by again and saw you, saw that you were ready for love and a lover. I took care of you, dressed you and protected you. I promised you my love and entered the covenant of marriage with you. I, God, the Master, gave my word. You became mine. I gave you a good bath, washing off all that old blood, and anointed you with aromatic oils. I dressed you in a colorful gown and put leather sandals on your feet. I gave you linen blouses and a fashionable wardrobe of expensive clothing. I adorned you with jewelry: I placed bracelets on your wrists, fitted you out with a necklace, emerald rings, sapphire earrings, and a diamond tiara. You were provided with everything precious and beautiful: with exquisite clothes and elegant food, garnished with honey and oil. You were absolutely stunning. You were a queen! You became world-famous, a legendary beauty brought to perfection by my adornments. Decree of God, the Master.” Ezekiel 16:4-14 The Message
Isn’t that beautiful imagery!
Of course, if you keep reading that chapter you will see, what Jesus describes as, Jerusalem’s harlotry, but that did not stop God from pouring out His love and blessings on Jerusalem prior.
I love the visual of Jesus caring for the one He loves. He washes off the filth and begins dressing the one He loves, from head to the feet.
The Message Bible says leather sandals, but the New King James calls it badger skin, and in the footnotes is says dolphin or dugong. No matter the material, shoes play a very important role protecting our feet.
So, what does it mean to shod our feet?
“To Shod means to bind under one’s feet, to be in bonds, to tie, to wind, to knit or be at one with. It also has to do with your walk, or how you walk out your life from day-to-day.
Preparation means having a firm foundation or solid knowledge of something. In this case, preparation is knowing the Prince of Peace and His Word.
The word Gospel means glad tidings or good news of the kingdom of God.
But let’s take a look at the word Peace. God is saying that the Gospel you are to bind on your feet, to cover every step you take is Peace.
Peace is one of the most wonderful words in the Bible and Jesus is our Prince of Peace. But what is He is talking about in this passage? It’s more than a feeling of calm or being free of conflict.
The word Peace is #7965 in Strong’s and it looks like this: shalowm (shaw-lome’) Shalom is more than just simply peace; it is a complete peace. It is a feeling of contentment, completeness, wholeness, well being and harmony…”(maryellenwrites.com)
That is the peace that passes understanding. Let’s ditch the leather and instead wear the shoes of peace.