When I was ten years old, I vividly remember a certain day, when a man came to the front door of our parsonage. People came to our door all the time, day and night, to ask for help from my dad (small town pastor), from church, but this gentleman stuck out to me. He claimed to be a veteran, and had one leg badly twisted. He was very neat and clean shaven, though his clothes and glasses were definitely very old. He tried to stand as tall as he could on his cane. His body seemed thin and frail. He was terribly embarrassed, and he spoke quietly and deliberately. He asked for help getting shoes. It seemed to almost kill him to ask. My father was standing at the open door and I was peeking around him, looking at the badly tattered shoes. It was Wisconsin, already cold, and the man’s feet were visible through the flopping soles. I knew the church office was closed, the treasurer out of town, and we just ran out of benevolence forms. As for our family, we made next to no money and had all of us kids to feed, glasses, braces etc. My dad only owned two pair of shoes. One for walking and one for Sunday. And they definitely weren’t new. I waited for dad to give the poor guy the bad news or the “application and get back to you thing”. Without a word, my dad (who was padding around in his socks that Saturday) turned to the coat closet, pulled out his walking shoes and handed them to the man. The man just kept thanking my dad and choking back tears. Then he slowly walked back up the road. My dad never talked about it; he just wore his Sunday shoes every day for a good long while. He wonder if he even remembers that day. I’ll never forget it. To a ten year old kid, that was Jesus right there. I understood what that verse meant “give to him who asks”. Suddenly I realized that everything I was hearing at church was very very real. Jesus would wear socks.
Recently, my daughter heard about a young friend without food after a family crisis. She started getting cans of food out of our cupboards, saying “mom, they may need these right?” It reminded me of dad and shoes. I let her pack the box. Happy early father’s day dad. Maybe I’ll get you some shoes this year instead of a tie……  10974592_10205168113816062_8909382272690314547_o

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