Broken Shoes

 In Relationship with God

This past Sunday at Church of Hope, we dove into God’s Story in Exodus 3. God asked Moses to take off his shoes…to yield his authority, his pride, his hang-ups, his relationships, his dreams and failures. He asked Moses to yield to Him & what He wanted to do in and through Moses.

We then looked at the question, “What keeps you from yielding to God?” At the time, I made a little mental note & told myself I would dive into the question later in the week–you know in that perfectly pristine moment when you have a tall iced caramel machiato in hand, the sun on your face and a slight breeze blowing against your back…those good moments, when life feels easy and yielding to God seems like the obvious choice.
To end the morning, we symbolically took off our shoes and yielded to God. We said “Amen” and went out resolved to yield. But then I left it there, in that worship center. And pushed that daunting question towards the back of my mind.

Then today came.
In the middle of my first class, my shoes broke! Instantly, Sunday’s question flew to the surface of my mind: WHAT KEEPS ME FROM YIELDING TO GOD?
As the day progressed, with each barefoot step, I felt the reality of that question. As my feet were exposed to the ground and my clean, manicured toes started to collect dust and dirt, I was reminded of imperfection–my imperfection. I felt exposed, like a mask was suddenly ripped from my face, revealing scars from horrible acne or something related to my high school days. I felt seen and noticed as people quizzically looked at my naked feet. Embarrassment crept into the tips of my fingertips, but perhaps, slightly more steadily, a tingling sensation of freedom began to inch its way up my spine, vertebrae by vertebrae…the freedom to be me; the freedom to lay down my rights, failures, dreams, aspirations, desired perfection, to do lists, and false control.
Around noon, I looked down at the broken pair of shoes I had been carrying around all morning–the last thread of honor & sanity I was clinging to, trying to prove to the world I was not some crazy girl who woke up and decided to walk around the University of Florida barefoot today–and the truth of the question I had been shoving deep within me rose to the surface. I was carrying around my mask, my comfort…the very answer to the question.
I carry with me daily what keeps me from yielding to God.
As I slipped by broken shoes and control in the trash can, I whispered a promise–a plea–throwing away my masks and embracing a new posture of yielding.

Author: staciecastleberry@gmail.com

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