Shoes can be supernatural. This weekend we’re going to infuse as many shoes as we can with near-mythological powers. Ok, they probably won’t levitate or become faster than a speeding bullet, but the old pair of Reebok’s in your closet can be transformed into an otherworldly boon for an Ethiopian, perhaps, who might others contract podoconiosis.
What is podoconiosis? I hadn’t heard of it either, until this morning. It’s a horrible foot disease often called “podo” that turns the victim’s feet into something like rotting cauliflower. According to a recent ChristianityToday article,
An estimated one million Ethiopians suffer from podo, as do perhaps three million more, mostly Africans. In affected areas—typically mountains with red volcanic soil—1 out of every 20 people have it. A village of 2,000 will have 100 victims, permanently disabled. In certain areas of Ethiopia, the podo infection rate surpasses that of HIV/AIDS.
I threw away a pair of used running shoes last month. I wonder if my shoes could’ve saved someone from having their feet turned to mush? After listening to David’s sermon on generosity this Sunday, I’ve been wondering how generous I am with my money, time, talents? I want to be generous, I want to help others. But it’s hard to change good intentions into action.
Your old Reebok’s change someone’s life.
Here’s an opportunity for me and you to change good intention into reality. We’re collecting shoes and passing out flier to our neighbors this Saturday, 9am at Restoration. If you can’t make it, we’ll have donation boxes out on Sunday morning. We’ll package up shoes of all sizes and send them to Soles4Souls, a not-for-profit organization that distributes used footwear to millions of people without shoes around the world.
Cleaning out the old shoes from your closest and bring them to church is a small thing. But our small actions can become salvation to an Ethiopian. Like the boy who watched lunch of fish and bread turn miraculously into a meal for thousands, we can watch our shoes be changed into something divinely salvific this weekend.
So please check your closet this week. See any extra shoes? Bring them with you to Restoration. Like Clark Kent, your shoes are needed.