Walking in her Shoes

(from Heather)
Tomorrow is Orphan Sunday, a day each year on which thousands of churches around the world pray specifically for orphans.  While watching some videos on the Orphan Sunday website (which conveniently also has pages in French), I was reminded of someone. 
One summer in Kenya, I put a pair of my old shoes in the donations closet.  The donations closet holds a supply of clothing and shoes for hospital patients or other visitors in need of those items.  Within a few weeks, my old shoes were given to someone.  I will never forget seeing my shoes on her feet.

My shoes appeared on the feet of a 14-year-old girl who came to the hospital with two sick children.  The children were hers, a one-year-old girl and a baby boy.  The 14-year-old girl wearing my shoes was an orphan who, for various sad reasons, had run away from the orphanage where she was living at age 12.  With no one to take care of her, she fell into several heartbreaking episodes of abuse.  At age 14, she landed at the hospital, bone thin, with two sick little kids and a detached sort of blank stare.

She did not lift her eyes to make eye contact, and anyway, I could hardly look away from the shoes.  The irony left my mind spinning.  This girl and I wore a common pair of shoes, and yet the paths on which we walked were strikingly dissimilar.  I had used those shoes to go running for fun in good health while my loving husband cared for our healthy well-fed children.  Her daily walk looked quite different.    

There she was walking literally in my shoes, while I could not even imagine walking metaphorically in her shoes.

Thankfully, the Son of God came down and walked on this earth where we all walk, showing how he redeems brokenness.  And he invites us to participate with him in bringing goodness and redemption out of broken situations.  So tomorrow, on Orphan Sunday, please pray for this girl and for her children (who are realistically at high risk for becoming orphans themselves) as you pray for orphans around the world.


tscarlet said...

Thanks for the heartbreaking picture, Heather. I will pray for her and for her children.

Life with the DixieChirps said...

This is so well written! I too will gladly pray for this young girl, who is the age of our oldest daughter, who is just a child in our eyes. I can't imagine the 'shoes' she's walked in. How incredibly blessed we are! Thank you for sharing this vivid picture. Prayers are being lifted up for the McCropders and this dear girl and her children.

Faders said...

Thank you Heather for the reminder that is Orphan Sunday today. I didn't know. I will be praying for that precious girl and for God to come in and make everything about her and her life beautiful. I love you Sweet Sister! When I saw the picture of your shoes all I could think with a big lump in my throat is, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news." So proud of you Heather, for taking your beautiful feet to far away places with the Good News.
Love your sister, Bethany