Woven Blessings
Summer 2004

by Sheri L. VanDuyn

-"Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God."----Ruth 1:16

Transportation has really evolved since early Bible times. However, nothing is more satisfying than being able to walk or taking a leisurely walk in any season. During Ruth’s time, walking was necessity. Footwear was non-existent or barefoot during Bible times; sandals were the protective covering.

Looking at footwear through the many years, sandals today are more popular than ever. The sounds of "flip-flops" are everywhere. Now don’t get me wrong, I love sandals and have a few pairs, and I do own one pair of "flip-flops" which I keep on our boat for heading to the showers. These toe-splitter footgears are great to wear while getting cleaned up. However walking to the marina pool and the shower is about all I wear these colorful, plastic footwear.

I am amazed everyday in school at the pattern, color, and variety of "flip-flops"; relatively cheap, stylish, and quite vibrant in color. What I cannot get over is these flat thongs have no shock absorption. With the designs of sandal wear, there is no heal, arch, or foot support. Seems like when I was young, you only wore what would cause your feet to grow properly or hold up with good support.

Of course for me, orthopedic footwear was a necessity. I was born pigeon toed. I had heavy shoes, which I had to wear everyday. Only when I was older, could I wear pretty black patent leather shoes to church, otherwise my brown corrective shoes were my daily footwear. When I started 9th grade, I begged my parents not to have me wear these. To my surprise, they consented even though saddle shoes were back in vogue and available in corrective shoes, I was free at last to wear more stylish shoes like my friends. I am still pigeon toed to this day, a trait that I passed down to my son Brian. As a baby, he would be put to bed with corrective shoes pointing out and a bar between the two shoes. This was going to strengthen his hips and feet, which was determined to be like mine. Unfortunately, this apparatus was only worn for a few months. Brian cried every night, as his bedtime routine began with the shoe wear being laced up. As he became stronger, he beat the crib up using the shoes as a striker trying unsuccessfully to kick them off.

Strong, heavy footwear has always been a part of my life, so now you might understand my apprehensions with "flip-flops". I see all the girls wearing them every day for every occasion – church, school, and prom! I get really nervous watching girls go up and down stairs or trying to run in these flip-flops.

During Spring Break, I was able to go to the ocean. Sandals, flip-flops, and other footwear are neatly lined up under the benches by the gate opening of my parent’s condo unit. When coming back from the beach, a hose is there to rinse the sand off your feet before putting your footwear back on.

Walking along the beach that day with the ocean’s gentle waves lapping on the shore, I was reminded of this story by an Unknown Author.

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he
was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across
the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he
notice two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonging to
him, and the other to the Lord.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked
back at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many
times along the path of his life, there was only one set of
footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very
lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about
it. "Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d
walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during
the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one
set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I
needed you most you would leave me."

The Lord replied, "My child, I love you and I would
never leave you. During your times of trial and
suffering, when you only see one set of
footprints, it was then that
I carried you."

Just remember, where you walk, whatever you chose to wear on your feet, remember to ask your Lord to walk by your side. Let Him guide your footsteps or path and He will never leave you.

Woven Blessings

by Sheri L. Van Duyn

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