“What’s the story about your favorite pair of shoes?”
Kind of an unusual question for church, but every week the Question of the Day provokes some interesting getting to know you conversations with those sitting nearby. It’s a tradition at Fellowship Monrovia, where I attend services.
I turned around to chat with the woman behind me, thinking about mentioning the snow boots I bought in college more than 30 years ago and still own.
With a huge smile, she shared her shoe story:
My favorite pair of shoes was my very first pair, when I was 10 years old. I was in an orphanage in Greece during the war, and needed shoes. They traced around my foot on a piece of paper during my birthday in July, and then asked my sponsor in America for the money. That Christmas, I received my first pair of shoes. They were so precious to me! I polished them every night before putting them away in the box. I loved those shoes!
Yeah, I had no shoe story after hearing that.
During the rest of the service, I couldn’t stop thinking about that precious Greek lady and her shoe story. I knew I needed to know her.
We met for coffee last week, and through tears she told me of her heart for the Greek orphans, even now. There is no public money available for them. If an orphanage is no longer funded, those little ones are in the street. What she told me is a story repeated countless times in countries around the world.
Meeting someone like this, who has lived a good life because a family cared enough to adopt her is inspiring. Her work now is dedicated to the children in Benjamin House, and she carries on the work that one person inspired in her by providing a pair of shoes.
Small beginnings for very big things. It all started with a pair of shoes for a 10 year old little orphan girl, provided by someone who had never met her.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27