Walk a mile in who’s shoes? No Way!

There is an old saying that goes something like this: “Before you judge someone, walk a mile in their shoes.” The rest of that saying is less well known, but insightful nonetheless. “That way, when you do judge someone, you have their shoes and you are a mile away from them.”

Some of you are going to hate this post. I’m not talking a little hate, but a lot. I ask you to consider the point and be offended for the right reasons. Some of you will think that I am making a point that I am really not making. What I am about to do is make a point about the mysterious and wondrous day when God put on skin[1].

Here’s what I think: I think really highly of myself. I know I’m a sinner. That fact is never really far from my mind. Not that I sin continually (I am a Nazarene after all). I just have an elevated opinion of myself. In other words, “Why wouldn’t God come down and be like us?” Maybe you think the same way. But what does that mean? How could we better understand this whole ‘incarnation’ thing?

Timothy Kurek wrote a book: Jesus in Drag. Here is a video about his book:

There is something amazing about this. Timothy became like the people he despised. Right now you might be thinking, “That guy is crazy!” You might be thinking that there is something totally  wrong, even sinful, about it. You might even be a bit angry-or a lot. I have no idea what it would  be like to have someone tell me they were gay and then come back in a year and say, “Psych!” But I digress.

It is so easy to dismiss and ridicule those that are different from us and it is easy to avoid them, too.  The problem is that our lack of contact does not help us have more compassion, but less. And, because we have no connection with them, our animosity toward them grows. Thankfully, God did not avoid contact with us.

God is not like us at all. We are sinful and and finite. God is pure and everlasting. What does God do? God lives in our frail bodies with all the temptations and desires that come with being human. He was hungry, tired, and probably more than a little frustrated with how long it takes to walk a mile in sandals let alone shoes.

It was an amazing demonstration of love toward a creation that was on the opposite end of the spectrum from God’s self. And the result was a huge benefit for us.

Did God condone our sin by walking with us? Did God’s divine and perfect love give us permission to keep sinning and increase in our sin? No. God’s love liberated us, wooed us, and transformed us. Not because of a threat of eternal punishment, but because of everlasting love. And it all started when God chose to walk a mile in our shoes.

In whose shoes do you need to walk?


[1] John 1.14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. NIV

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One thought on “Walk a mile in who’s shoes? No Way!

  1. Kim Nebel

    it becomes clearer to me each day, our only responsibility to one another is to love and serve, the Holy Spirit convicts and purifies, that’s not my job. Anyone worthy of Gods’ love, is certainly worthy of mine.

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