Friday, May 20, 2011

My Shoes




My Shoes

I had a cool experience the other day. In the transfers I was listening to the testimony of one of the new gringos. I looked at his shoes and then I looked at mine. Tears came to my eyes. His shoes were brand new and shine-- just like the elder with his animo ready to work.

Mine were old and beat up but with a world of experience--just like the elder wearing them.

I started thinking of my shoes. They've passed though two sewing jobs, four sole replacements, and an infinite amount of paint jobs. They've passed through the halls of the MTC, pounded the paved streets of Guatemala City, and kicked up dust in the small village of Amatitlan. They've carried Books of Mormon, pamphlets, and sacks of vegetables and corn. They've tracked through sun, rain, mud and ash. They've witnessed the visit of an Apostle, the work of the mission president, and most important, the conversion and baptism of many humble Lamanites.

They love to play B-Ball with the youth, soccer with the street kids, walk to charlas and rest under the bed at night. They've been in the jaws of a dog and within the walls of the Temple. They see miracles constantly and go through heaven and hell daily. They have passed though many unexpected things and uncountable beautiful experiences-- the most beautiful this world can provide. But most important is that through all this walking, sweating, crying and laughing they have followed a path that has led them to eternal happiness.

They have followed the same path two beat-up sandals followed in Jerusalem nearly 2,000 years ago. They have followed the path of "The Master." They have taken up their cross for the love of the Guatemalan people just as those two sandals, covered in blood, took up their cross for the love of all mankind. And, just as those sandals, these two shoes have found that as they have lost their life in the service of others they have truly found themselves. They have found and eternal joy bigger than this world can provide. They have found that it's not what's on the outside that counts but what's inside the soul.

And despite all they've been through, their favorite time and place is early in the morning or late at night, face down on the cement floor, praying to their eternal and loving Father, and their Brother and Master who showed the path for all shoes to follow back to their creator, their Savior, who paved that path with blood and tears, making it possible for all to return.

These shoes aren't just for two years but are ready to walk to the ends of the earth and through all eternities to follow that path and help others to find it. I love these shoes and I love my Savior. I know he lives! I love this work!

I remember a story Brigham Young told. He was visiting a young lady on her deathbed. She had given up all her hopes for the future and her schooling at a very young age to go to work to support herself and her brother when their mother died and left them orphans. She had spent her short life working with her hands to feed her brothers. She asked Pres. Young how the Lord would know that she is His. Pres. Young said, "Show Him your hands."

When I return to my Maker, I'm going to show him my shoes.

--Author Unknown

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