First off, new word in the title. I love new words.
Okay, so One Day Without Shoes, raising awareness of all the children and people of the world forced to live without shoes every day, was quite interesting.
Details of the day:
I walked with my sister on our regular two mile route with shoes (I know, I know, I should have toughed it out, but alas, I did not).
Came home, wrote a speech, took out the trash and wheeled the garbage can to the end of the driveway.
This was the first and most painful moment of the day, primarily because my feet were super cold but not cold enough to be numb to the sharp rocks, puddles, and mud that covers our driveway. But incase you were wondering, I survived.
Met my sister and her kiddos for lunch at Fazolis. First barefoot experience in public since I was a baby and it was cute to be barefoot. No one said anything. It was 12:30 and the restaurant was packed, but no one said a word about the absence of my shoes.
Went to the mall. Walked through several stores, most people just stared at my feet and then looked at me. When they saw I was watching them stare (I guess that means I was staring too, doesn’t it?) they quickly averted their eyes and I continued on with my business.
At one store this worker noticed I was barefoot upon my entry to the store then proceeded to treat me as if I was mentally… challenged. He came over, put one hand on my back and one hand on my arm, and looking at me as if he was talking to a two year old asked if I was alright and needed any help. It was as if he was saying “You left a significant part of your outfit off, and I’m worried for your sanity.” I was amused. Still am, actually.
Then I went to work. There wasn’t anything out of the ordinary there, however, because I typically roam the office sans shoes.
While I was at the office trending #hardwithoutshoes on Twitter, I saw a picture of a girl with “hard without shoes” written on the bottom of her feet and felt inspired to write it on the top of mine. I just wish I would have thought to do this before I went trekking through places of public interaction. Oh well.
Then I went to rehearsal (South Pacific. WKCTCS. April 23-25. Be there.), where it is mandatory you wear shoes. So I donned my Nikes and obeyed the rules.
After rehearsal Lana and I went back to the mall (this time with our feet proudly proclaiming “It’s hard without shoes”) and I returned the shirt I bought today. We also perused several stores and finally someone asked us “what is up with the barefeet?”! I was so excited that someone finally asked instead of just staring and keeping their curiousity pent up like biscuits waiting to explode from the tube. I was also thrilled to tell her about the cause.
Went to Walgreens and Sonic with Missy. Sonic doesn’t really count since we stayed in the car, but this is listed under “details” so details I will give.
Went to Krogers with her, which had a sign “No shoes, no service.” Because of this, I was almost beside myself with glee going into the store without shoes. It was my one moment of rebelliousness and I rather enjoyed it (what does that say about my nature? Jeremiah 17:9). I wanted to see if they would enforce the rules… they did not. We walked all over the store and nothing was said. Not one thing. Humph. I really wanted them to say something, ask me to leave, ask why I was barefoot- something, but no.
Now I am showered and my feet are slathered with thick and creamy lotion. They are sore and tired, but it was definitely eye-opening. People live like this all the time. Babies learn to walk without shoes and some of them die without ever wearing a pair.
How much I take for granted.
I walked through oil, water, mud, hair gel (Krogers), Coke (Krogers), rocks, pot holes, cigarette butts (dis.gust.ing.), and more… things that are not out of the ordinary but I never pay attention to because my feet are always protected.
Some people might say this was a stupid exercise because it didn’t really make a difference for the shoeless kids of the world. Well, whether or not it did or didn’t, it made me realize once again, in a whole new way, just how blessed I am.
The day is over and my feet are clean, resting with lotion beginning to soften up again, and tomorrow I’ll put my shoes on like always. Those kids are not so fortunate- they don’t just do this for one day… this is their life. Sure, they’re used to it, but that should fuel my thankfulness and appreciate for what God has blessed me with.
One thing I know for sure, when I go to Africa tons of shoes are going with me and aren’t coming back.
4 comments on “My day of barefootedness”
First barefoot experience in public since you were a baby? Sad. I suppose you are not aware that during the late 1960s and early 1970s, going barefoot everywhere, including stores like you went to, was quite a fad for young people. Some would do the whole summer barefoot, not just one day. Summer was about freedom and fun, and that generation really liked pushing the limits of what was socially acceptable. Late 60s was when those anti-barefoot signs first appeared. No laws against it, it was just conservative store owners trying to keep hippies out. By the early 70s even "ordinary" young people having nothing to do with hippies were going barefoot as it all hit the mainstream. Young women were shopping barefoot in New York City. Barefoot couples were waiting in line at Broadway theaters. The fad ended during the 1980s, but the belief that it's a law persists. Today there still are such signs on some stores, but they are store policy, afriad of liability, not hippies this time.And yes, their experience and your experience has nothing to do with what the poor in third world countries experience. We have no tropical diseases. No volcanic ash. We have plumbing and sanitation. Paved streets and sidewalks are no big deal to walk on by comparison. And we have clean water and medicine they do not have.
Hey Mr. or Ms. Anonymous, I appreciate your thoughtful comment. I did not realize there was a time when going barefoot was a fad or act of freedom, this is news to me. Thanks for sharing and you are exactly right, just because a quarter of a million people went barefoot on Thursday to raise awareness for the shoeless people in third world countries, it does not give us any real idea of what they go through on a regular basis. My heart is in Africa and I so badly want to go and minister to the hurting people there. Sharing hope with the hopeless and life with the ones who, just as I was, "are dead in their trespasses and sins." Only God can raise a life and give purpose for people even those who have are barefoot.Thanks for reading my blog.
I love your in depth description of your day. I wanted to do this. Not to shift the blame towards the fact that it was pouring rain and creating yellow rivers of pollen, but yeah i didnt get to do it. Awesome blog by the way!
Travis! I read your blog all the time, and it's actually pretty retarded how excited I am that you commented on mine. But, alas, I am pretty giddy now. And yeah, you probably made a wise choice by avoiding the yellow rivers of pollen… eek. Thanks for reading my blog, I love yours! Thanks for your sincerity and desire to glorify our amazing Father through everything you do. It never fails to make my heart smile whenever I see/read about people my age living with a passion for God; thanks for sharing your journey.