Thursday, May 5, 2016

Walking on Broken Shoes (for such a time as this)

Broken shoes carry those who do good. Worn shoes bring comfort to the wearer. There is a fine line between broken and worn. Likewise, there is a line that divides comfort and devotion. There is loss in brokenness. Even so, the journey is worth the pain.
My shoes... worn but not yet broken.
As followers of Jesus Christ we must be more than a comfortable, worn shoe. We must take on the brokenness of devotion and take on the risk of bleeding feet. We are called to be change elements for the Kingdom, salt and light. We don't have the option of hanging up our comfortable shoes when the terrain gets rocky, hot, or putrid. 

The damage we receive is always worth the effort if we allow our broken feet to carry the influence of the One whose image is emblazoned on us... as souls that are filled with His breath of life. We are placed on this earth for such a time as this, and we don't have the luxury of hanging up our cleats and claiming innocence of the state of the world.

As citizens of nations, we already have responsibility of the state of society. We are here to shine light into dark places. If darknesses has advanced, it is only because we have been unwilling to shine the light. Surely this failure does not allow us now to claim a pious innocence. Citizens of the United States will be faced with only two real choices in the coming election, and we must fall on our faces in repentance and prayer for the wisdom to make the better of the two choices.

As citizens of the Kingdom of God, it's time for us to walk on our broken shoes. The path may leave us bleeding, but our steps have brought us here. We must pray, speak, and act... spreading salt and light into any and all administrations. We would be foolish to be silent and throw away our influence when it is needed most. 

I would rather have humble, repentant, God-fearing followers of Christ making choices that will influence a nation, than see them collectively refuse to participate while the Godless race us to oblivion. We don't get to take our toys and run home. This isn't about making the better choice of what so many are terming, "two evils." No, it is about walking as faithful followers of Christ who are wearing broken shoes, becoming blessed again as we spread good news.

When Kellie and I were in Russia adopting Aleksandra, we had a young woman with us named Anastasia who served as our agent, guide, and interpreter. She lived outside of the city and commuted by bus. Her days began in darkness, and her shoes slipped off of her feet only after the sun had set again.

Early one morning as she stepped off of the bus, her right heel snapped clean off the shoe. She was working with a broken shoe. She explained that it was her only pair, and new shoes would cost more than a month's pay. We went with her to a cobbler who quickly made a repair, restoring the broken shoe.

Yesterday Kellie and I were in the Immigration office of Guatemala, awaiting an interview, the final step to change our status to Residents. We were given instructions from our attorney to await the arrival of his paralegal before going in to our appointment. We would need his guidance and influence. As the clock crawled to the appointed time in that crowded, hot building filled with anxious people like ourselves, he did not appear. 

My shirt was soaked beneath my jacket as we faced the thought of handling the appointment alone. Right as we approached the desk... Edwin appeared. Everything would be ok. As he led us into the small office... I noticed his shoes. The heels were worn off, and the soles had split. The tops of the shoes were brightly shined and the leather was beautiful, but underneath it was clear that he was paying a price for each faithful step.

I thank God for men like Edwin and women like Anastasia who are devoted with broken shoes. They inspire me and make me want to live a worthy life.

Other parts of the world have understood the price of doing good in less than perfect environments as long as time. The United States is opening its eyes to this reality. I believe that the US Constitution is a sacred document, and that as a citizen of the United States, I have a sacred duty. 

Our government is a system of checks and balances, and in order for it to avoid slipping into tyranny, each part of that system must be maintained. If the those who fear God abandon, or forfeit their duty to vote, then they consent and approve for the Godless to steer a nation. 

We cannot avoid culpability. We are here for such a time as this. We must lace up our shoes, and abandon comfort for brokenness. May God have mercy on us and bless our feet as we carry His good news. 

I think our shoes will be broken no matter what, so let's make the brokenness count. Let's take the next six months and pray about it. Rather than wash our hands, let's fall on our faces. God is able. He is sovereign. He rules over the nations.

Don't let the enemy steal your influence. 
Be light in places of darkness.
Walk on broken shoes.

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