Is It All In The Shoes?

What’s your favorite pair of shoes? Mine is a cute pair of pink silk stiletto sandals with high ankle straps and big pink beads over the toes. They’re pretty and fun and as comfortable as heels can be. What’s not to love? I just need more outfits to wear them with.

Shoes can say a lot about us.

My friend told me about a class that teaches women to look at a guy’s shoes when first meeting him in order to “size up” what kind of person he is (and that doesn’t mean figuring out if he wears a 9 or a 10).  The premise is that you can determine what a guy thinks about himself and how he’ll care about others (including you) based on his shoes. Really? Apparently I keep forgetting to do that.

I certainly wouldn’t pay to go to a class like that, but it got me thinking. What are we looking at when we first meet people? Not just guys, but people in general. What do we see?

Truthfully, we tend to be very judgmental whether we care to admit it or not.

Do we look someone up and down to quickly assess if they’re the type of person we want to get to know? Are we friendlier to people who dress nice and smell good? Do we draw near to people who are the life of the party and stay away from the ones standing sheepishly in the corner? Do we steer clear of people who have a handicap and avoid eye contact with those we know aren’t quite “right”?

Are we self-centered as we meet new people, figuring out what’s in it for us? How can they help us? What can they bring to our life? And is it better than what someone else has to offer?

I heard a story about a woman who was blind. She met a man who loved her deeply and would do anything for her. But she wasn’t happy because she couldn’t see the world and do things like others could. Day in and day out she complained and was miserable, even though she had someone very dear to share her life with. One day she was told that an eye donor had been found. Her boyfriend was there by her side before she went into surgery. He told her he would love her always, even if the surgery didn’t restore her eyesight. The surgery was a success. A week later the bandages were taken off and she was able to see her boyfriend for the first time. To her disappointment, he was blind. He was the eye donor. He had given his eyes so that she could see. And now she wanted more than he could offer.

Sometimes we’re like the woman who was blind. Always wanting something more. Always disappointed no matter who we have in our life. Not looking past other people’s handicaps, even if they’ve loved us through ours.

Sometimes we’re like the boyfriend. Wishing others would see us for who we really are. Wishing others would know and appreciate the love we have to share. Wishing others would stop focusing on what they don’t have and start living life to the fullest in the moment, before everything changes.

It’s time to get to the heart of the matter.

If we judge others based on their appearance or what we think they can bring to our life, we need to adjust our perspective and truly look for the good in others. Even if it’s hidden behind a wall of protection.

And if others brush us off or discount our worth because we don’t measure up to their standards, then be encouraged. What’s truly important is not what they see, but what God sees. God looks at the heart. He knows the love we have to share. And He thinks we’re beautiful because of it.

Who we are is not about shoes or anything we bring to the table. It’s about our heart and the love we have to share.

“‘The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’”1 Samuel 16:7

May I pray?

Lord, thank You for not judging us based on how we look, what we bring to the table, or how we mess up. I praise You that You can see into our heart and know exactly who we are. Please help us to not judge others based on their appearance. Help us to start seeing the heart of the matter––the heart of others. And may we all take comfort in knowing that Your love and acceptance for us is not based on what we can do. It’s based solely on who You are, and that never changes. You will never love us more and You will never love us less. You love us fully today. May we rest in Your love. Amen.

Q4U: What do you see when meeting people for the first time?

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