Two pairs of shoes



Both worn.  Both ordinary.  Neither remarkable.

I now leave my flip-flops at the top of the stairs.  Upstairs I am usually in my office.  At my desk with flip-flops on.  Flip-flops that are removed without thought and left there without memory.  Until I am downstairs and wanting to answer a knock at the front door, or to do something for which footwear is useful.  Then I remember they were under my desk.  And that’s why I now leave them at the top of the stairs.

Both worn.  Both ordinary.  Neither (still) remarkable.

Our grandson was in a foul mood.  Grumpy and demanding.  Self-centred and insular.  Wailing unreasonably.  Going ballistic and throwing tantrums.  The terrible-twos in one nearly three.   A presence bigger than his nearly-three height.  A noise in excess of his nearly-three lungs.  Crocodile tears with that nearly-three switch.  Just when I think I have him calming down – SWITCH – and off he goes again.  Testing my patience, shaving my love thin, stretching this bond to (almost) breaking point.

Both worn.  Both (still) ordinary.  Neither (still) remarkable.

He needed to sleep.  Except he wouldn’t.  Needed to lie down and close his eyes but fought me on that with every ounce of fading energy.  He wasn’t himself.  Was carrying a cough and “something not right” as young ones often do.  Nothing requiring medical attention – just special reserves of parent and grandparent patience.  Loving ways of talking-down a locked and loaded unguided missile.  And with soft words, firm words, cuddles and the removal of cuddles.  With love as deeds, love requiring nothing in return, love given and definitely not received …  The talking-down brought this wee one into my arms not through submission but through being out-waited.  Through it being easier to be enfolded in my arms than in fighting with his.  This extended outburst “burst”.   

Both (still) worn.  Both (still) ordinary.  Neither (still) remarkable.

And then this wee chap allowed me to lay him on his bed, stroke away his “not right”, tuck him in with love and trust and safety … I went back to my office and work with just one wall dividing us both.  His bedroom door open as was mine.  Both of us still connected in the air we breathe and the sounds we make.  Always connected even when this wee chap was pushing me away.

And the shoes … ?

While he was sleeping and I was working, I noticed his shoes next to mine.  In all the noise and tantrums of having a simple “wee-wee before bed” he had flung his shoes.  

And somewhere in all the noise and cajoling I had insisted he pick them up.  And in all the pushing away and crocodile tears I had not noticed what he had done with them after he had picked them up.  And THIS is what he had done with them –

EVEN in all the noise and pushing away …



Lined up right next to mine is what he had done – EVEN whilst fighting me.  Carefully laid right next to mine – EVEN as he pushed me away.  Connected even as he fought so hard to (apparently) break this connection.





I have never understood why God needs so much explaining.  I understand that less and less.  I listen to those I was taught are scary.  Ask questions of the certainties I was taught.  Am finding that “No one comes to the Father but through me.”  Am finding that being a Christian as taught is not that always or at all.  Because Church is People who teach Sin.

And sin-seeking is not Love-seeking.  And Love-seeking is what the bible teaches.  The bible has never taught sin-seeking.  It teaches Love.  A simple teaching: Loving without Condition.  And I am finding more and more that Christian Church People need sin – or else Christian Church People must love without condition.  And sin-seeking keeps that from happening … sin-seeking keeps from Loving without the condition of saving … and sin-seeking keeps the whole show on the road.

And coming to know God isn’t that.  Because the bible isn’t that either.

Had I gone to God University my destination is a God who speaks four words of Greek.  A God who applauds my sin-seeking.  A God who weighs “love” and who to “love” the most.  A God not of Love but of Condition of being saved.

I don’t think this picture of shoes would ever have explained what God Soft Hands Jesus and the bible mean to me now.


Both worn.  Both ordinary.  Separately nothing.











9 thoughts on “Two pairs of shoes

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