Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Put on Your High-Heel Sneakers . . ."

Psalm 26:12
My feet stand on level ground;
in the great congregation I will praise the Lord.

I don't do high heels.  Oh, if you were to look in my closet, you might think otherwise.  There they hang, neatly arranged on a cloth shoe rack.  Black and white and beige ones, and two pair of boots to boot!

But, these are saved only for those very special occasions which call for dressing to the nines.  Occasions when I hope and pray I will not have to stand on my feet very long or walk any distance to get where I am going.  Because, I know the ensuing discomfort is inevitable.

Pinched toes.  Aching arches.  Wobbly, weary ankles.

Every step I take ushers in a fresh, excruciating wave of pain.  And, I think, like the character, Mrs. Doubtfire, in the movie of the same name, "Whoever invented high heels must have been a masochist!"

Really and truly, I abhor high heels so much that, when I wear them for my daughter's wedding ceremony, they are off my feet the moment I'm in the car and headed for the reception.  I'll dance in flats, thank you!

The only elevated shoes I can tolerate are my slightly-raised flip flops.  My "high-heel sneakers".  Even those become aggravating after I wear them too long.  I am having one of those episodes of irritation with them one Sunday when my husband, Danny, and I are leading contemporary worship at our church.

Take them off!

What???  Barefoot in church?  What will people think?

Remove your sandals.  This is Holy Ground!

Oh, wow!  Really?  It's okay?  Well, if you say so . . .

I slip the shoes off as unobtrusively as possible.  My feet embrace with gratitude the soft, plush carpet beneath them.  I feel immediately relieved.  Balanced.  Focused.

A welcome wave of fresh confidence and awareness washes over me.  I am on level ground!

And, in the great congregation, I praise the Lord with song like never before.
~
What type of shoe do you like to wear?

Will you pray with me?
We thank You, Father, for creating us in Your image.  Let us be kind to and appreciate the bodies You have given us, for they are the precious, earthly vessels which carry our heavenly souls.  Amen. 

33 comments:

  1. You know in the Revive service on Saturdays the whole band is usually barefoot! I'm not such a barefoot fan but I haven't worn uncomfortable shoes ie heels in ages and being vertically challenged as I am it would often be helpful. It is interesting to note that taking shoes OFF was sign of reverence in the Bible. As usual very insightful, Martha. Blessings to you!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by today, Lynne!
      Really? The entire band? Oh, I feel so much better about this now! :)
      And, you are so right - it was a sign of reverence in Biblical times. As right and good as it makes me feel, I can't help but think it is still the right thing to do.
      Blessings to you!

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  2. I'm all for sneakers and flip flops! And bare feet are always the best option. :) I think God wants us to be comfortable and not distracted by discomfort (like wearing uncomfortable heels!) while worshiping Him. For sure, you honored Him by listening to Him and being more comfortable to focus on Him.

    I can so relate to this post...I went to a "Mother's Day Tea Party" at my daughter's school. I wore heels and had to walk across the school lawn to get inside after having parked along the road due to lack of parking. I ended up taking off my shoes and walking barefoot until I got to the school entrance. They were so uncomfortable, and I felt I was going to constantly fall! lol :)

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Jessica!
      I love your story of removing the high heels for the walk to the school. There have been times when I've done the exact same thing. And, feeling off balance? Whew! No fun!
      And, yes, I believe God does want us to have no distractions when we worship. This was a great revelation to me and I do it to this day.
      Blessings to you!

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  3. I love being bare foot. but I am petite and need heels .I wish i were little taller :(.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting today!
      I'm pretty short, too, and could use them, but they are simply too uncomfortable. Bare foot is the way to go!
      Blessings to you!

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  4. I had a major accident on my right leg where I injured my knee very badly. After that incident I simply cannot wear high heels. It pains terribly...so it is only flats for me :(

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    1. Thanks for coming by today, Me!
      Oh, dear, that doesn't sound good - sorry that happened to you! But, as painful as heels are for an uninjured foot/leg, you're certainly not missing out on anything.
      Blessings to you!

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  5. You made me smile. I stopped wearing pumps ages ago - bad knee. I loves shoes with a passion, but since I work in the technology sector and forever in a pair of vintage bell bottom type jeans, I am always in Dankso clogs. I know, dreadful, but so comfortable and since I walk everywhere, I love 'em. Yes, I am a fashion rebel and proud. In Catholic church, there is not taking off shoes or going barefoot.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Brenda!
      Your clogs sound like a great idea to me, especially since you walk so much. My favorite slippers/house shoes which finally wore out were clog-like and I adored them.
      Yes, I imagine the Catholic Church would not take kindly to me . . . :)
      Blessings to you!

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  6. "Remove your sandals, this is Holy ground" Yes, indeed! I love it!!! I often wear cowboy boots, they are comfortable and I can dress them up or dress them down! hehe

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Lisa Marie!
      I can recall as a little girl always wanting a pair of cowboy boots. I never got any, but I imagine they would have to be comfortable considering the hard work real cowboys do. Glad you enjoy yours! :)
      Blessings to you!

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  7. Amen girl! Tell it now!
    I remember leading this angel choir that became so popular in town that I couldn’t keep up with the invites to perform at this church and that function. But I did accept the call to minister at St. Tim’s, the oldest church in town – and talk about high church! They said 500 people would be at this service where we were to sing.

    I dressed for the occasion in my best clothes. When it was time to sing, I wanted to lead the choir with my whole heart, as always. I wanted to give it up for God! I wanted to shine for Jesus, wanted to dance! So guess who kicked off her church-proper shoes? When I sat back down, my friend Lillian, somewhat of a socialite and la-de-da variety, leaned over and whispered, “Where are your shoes?” She seemed appalled. I said, “I’m standing on holy ground. Don’t you know?”

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    1. Oh, Debra, I absolutely adore this story! Yes, I attended a rather high Episcopal Church for many years where, in pain or not, I would never have dreamed of removing my shoes. I'm gratified to know you had the courage to do so and the perfect comeback to your high-fallutin' friend. :)
      Thanks so much for visiting today!
      Blessings always, my friend!

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  8. Hi Martha:
    If I could choose, I'd go barefoot ALL the time. I LOVE feeling whatever surface I'm walking on.

    The 2nd best thing is my Tevas. I need to have my feet breath as much as possible.

    If I MUST wear shoes, I'll choose loafers as they are the closest I can get to slippers or bare feet. But I still prefer barefoot or sandals.
    --
    Chris

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Chris!
      Barefoot is wonderful! Your Tevas and loafers sound comfortable, though. When I'm wearing shoes, they are slippers or soft sneakers whenever possible.
      Blessings to you!

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  9. Oh what a beautiful reminder to take off our shoes because we're standing on Holy Ground. How often we miss the point when what attracts us the most is how we should appear to be in the assembly. And the Lord just wishes our comfort and peace :)

    I felt loved in this post as the Lord sees us through even in the most trivial details of our lives.

    I pray with you...and be responsible in taking care of my body so I could take care of others in return. Ease our uneasiness and makes us attuned to what gives us peace in heart and mind.

    *P.S. I prefer wearing flat shoes or sandals although I also use high heels on special occasions ;)

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    1. Melissa, I love what you said here: "How often we miss the point when what attracts us the most is how we should appear to be in the assembly. And the Lord just wishes our comfort and peace." Yes! That's exactly what He wants for us. When we are in that state of mind, it is so much easier to focus on our worship and praise to the One who deserves it all.
      Thank you for coming by today, commenting, and for praying with me.
      Blessings always, my friend!

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  10. I begin to think of the Indian tradition of taking off one's shoes before entering a home and certainly a place of worship. Somehow that tradition didn't get transferred to Churches in India. The beauty of what you share is that we're constantly on holy ground and we better be comfortable being ourselves in it!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Corinne!
      As that tradition holds true in so many religions, it does make me wonder how/why it did not get carried over into Christianity, especially in countries like India where it is considered the norm. And, yes, we do walk continually upon holy ground. As Psalm 24 states - the earth is the Lord's and all that is in it. What a wonderful world it would be if everyone recognized this!
      Blessings to you, my friend!

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  11. Beautiful post! It reminded me of this little chapel I once visited where taking my shoes off made me feel that I was there with Him, like the apostles once were.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Anne!
      Wow! What a special, moving experience that must have been for you, feeling you were right there with the Lord. Beautiful!
      Blessings to you!

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  12. This is lovely!

    I used to be a high heel sort of girl but now I value comfort SO much and like you find it easier to focus when my mind is not on my hurting feet. :)

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Colleen!
      Oh, yes, hurting feet can be such an unwanted distraction. As far as I'm concerned, inviting pain into my life is simply not worth it.
      Blessings to you!

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  13. Hi, Martha! ~

    I love the shoes illustrating this post ;-)

    Barefoot is my favorite, but I wear higher heels than ever since hooking up with the fashionable Mr. C. I remember the first time he suggested REALLY high heels for me, I asked, "How will I ever walk in those???" He replied, "You won't have to walk, I'll pick you up and place you where you need to be..." haha!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Linda!
      Yep! Those heels in the photo are the quintessential high ones, for sure!
      And, if I had the dashing Mr. C. offer to carry me to where I needed to be, I wouldn't have to think twice about wearing those heels. :) Such a gentleman!
      Blessings to you!

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  14. At times I'm embarrassed to say that I can't tolerate heels. They are so beautiful and women who do wear them without pain must have ankles of steel. I admire them, but I just never got into heels. I've tried so many times to walk in them, but my ankles fold, my knees buckle and then the pain! Yikes! LOL!

    I thank God that wearing heels is not required to enter heaven. Not that I have all of the other requirements down pat yet, but I know I would not be getting in if I had to walk in heels! LOL!

    Bless you Martha! :-)

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Tameka!
      I had to laugh at your last statement here because I'd be standing right with you at the pearly gates, looking in longingly. Isn't it so wonderful that God loves us just the way He made us? I'm so thankful for that!
      Blessings to you!

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  15. I NEVER but high heals. I can't make more than two steps before I'm on the floor!!

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    1. Great to see you here, Nikky; thanks for stopping by!
      You, too? :) It seems like most of us here definitely prefer flats!
      Blessings to you!

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  16. I have been experiencing severe pain in my foot. Mainly in the arch and on the heel of the foot.
    Its like a burnig and stinging pain. The past few days when I wake up in the morning I
    can barely walk on the foot. The pain is getting so severe that I am actually
    starting to walk on the side of my foot just to keep the pressure off the foot.
    Any ideas what this could be?.
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    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi! It took me awhile to find this because Blogger thinks it's spam. :( Hope you'll forgive me!
      Boy, that sounds so painful! I have no idea what it could be, but it seems like a visit to the doctor should be your next move.
      Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Blessings to you!

      Delete

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