The other day I had a rude awakening. The pair of shoes on my feet were sound when I left home or so I thought. On my journey I felt it loosening but shoes do stretch at times, especially after many wears. This was an old and comfortable pair. Then I felt my toes on the pavement, the sides of one foot had come apart but still manageable; with toes tightly squeezed together, I pushed hard to reach my destination.
I was so conscious of a shoe ripped apart plus it slowed me down because my foot kept coming out of the shoe. I just knew everyone was staring at my feet; although pedestrians are usually in a hurry and barely noticed each other, this time I was sure they saw me.
Some more travel and the other shoe came loose also. Now I definitely could not walk any further, the soles were rapidly falling apart. Going barefoot was not an option, the streets are filled with broken glass, needles and all kinds of sharp objects; besides the hot pavement would have no mercy on the bottom of my feet. I felt embarassed and quickly took cover in a nearby store, grabbing a new pair of shoes and discarding the one on my feet.
I began to think of the many folks without a pair of shoes, such a basic necessity. "He who feels it knows it" I chuckled, because I make it my duty to ensure that the underprivileged youth gets a brand new pair of shoes but I found myself shoeless albeit for a short instant, on the streets.As the saying goes "the cobbler's son has no shoes" Did I need this experience to know what it feels like? Of course not but it is indeed a lesson in humility.
As we prepare for our "Back To School" event on 8-13-16 and as I purchase each pair of shoes, I will do so with renewed enthusiasm, because this incident reminded me why this mission of providing a brand new pair of shoes for the child in need still holds my interest.I have written and spoken many times about the need to protect the childrens' feet, the pride and joy it will bring them to own their own brand new pair and I will continue to be their mouthpiece.