First off, new word in the title. I love new words.
Okay, so One Day Without Shoes, raising awareness of all the children and people of the world forced to live without shoes every day, was quite interesting.
Details of the day:
I walked with my sister on our regular two mile route with shoes (I know, I know, I should have toughed it out, but alas, I did not).
Came home, wrote a speech, took out the trash and wheeled the garbage can to the end of the driveway.
This was the first and most painful moment of the day, primarily because my feet were super cold but not cold enough to be numb to the sharp rocks, puddles, and mud that covers our driveway. But incase you were wondering, I survived.
Met my sister and her kiddos for lunch at Fazolis. First barefoot experience in public since I was a baby and it was cute to be barefoot. No one said anything. It was 12:30 and the restaurant was packed, but no one said a word about the absence of my shoes.
Went to the mall. Walked through several stores, most people just stared at my feet and then looked at me. When they saw I was watching them stare (I guess that means I was staring too, doesn’t it?) they quickly averted their eyes and I continued on with my business.
At one store this worker noticed I was barefoot upon my entry to the store then proceeded to treat me as if I was mentally… challenged. He came over, put one hand on my back and one hand on my arm, and looking at me as if he was talking to a two year old asked if I was alright and needed any help. It was as if he was saying “You left a significant part of your outfit off, and I’m worried for your sanity.” I was amused. Still am, actually.
Then I went to work. There wasn’t anything out of the ordinary there, however, because I typically roam the office sans shoes.
While I was at the office trending #hardwithoutshoes on Twitter, I saw a picture of a girl with “hard without shoes” written on the bottom of her feet and felt inspired to write it on the top of mine. I just wish I would have thought to do this before I went trekking through places of public interaction. Oh well.
Then I went to rehearsal (South Pacific. WKCTCS. April 23-25. Be there.), where it is mandatory you wear shoes. So I donned my Nikes and obeyed the rules.
After rehearsal Lana and I went back to the mall (this time with our feet proudly proclaiming “It’s hard without shoes”) and I returned the shirt I bought today. We also perused several stores and finally someone asked us “what is up with the barefeet?”! I was so excited that someone finally asked instead of just staring and keeping their curiousity pent up like biscuits waiting to explode from the tube. I was also thrilled to tell her about the cause.
Went to Walgreens and Sonic with Missy. Sonic doesn’t really count since we stayed in the car, but this is listed under “details” so details I will give.
Went to Krogers with her, which had a sign “No shoes, no service.” Because of this, I was almost beside myself with glee going into the store without shoes. It was my one moment of rebelliousness and I rather enjoyed it (what does that say about my nature? Jeremiah 17:9). I wanted to see if they would enforce the rules… they did not. We walked all over the store and nothing was said. Not one thing. Humph. I really wanted them to say something, ask me to leave, ask why I was barefoot- something, but no.
Now I am showered and my feet are slathered with thick and creamy lotion. They are sore and tired, but it was definitely eye-opening. People live like this all the time. Babies learn to walk without shoes and some of them die without ever wearing a pair.
How much I take for granted.
I walked through oil, water, mud, hair gel (Krogers), Coke (Krogers), rocks, pot holes, cigarette butts (dis.gust.ing.), and more… things that are not out of the ordinary but I never pay attention to because my feet are always protected.
Some people might say this was a stupid exercise because it didn’t really make a difference for the shoeless kids of the world. Well, whether or not it did or didn’t, it made me realize once again, in a whole new way, just how blessed I am.
The day is over and my feet are clean, resting with lotion beginning to soften up again, and tomorrow I’ll put my shoes on like always. Those kids are not so fortunate- they don’t just do this for one day… this is their life. Sure, they’re used to it, but that should fuel my thankfulness and appreciate for what God has blessed me with.
One thing I know for sure, when I go to Africa tons of shoes are going with me and aren’t coming back.