When my children were babies, it gave me great joy to kiss those beautiful little feet as they would giggle with delight. A friend of mine recently was reflecting on the verse in Romans that talks about the idea of the “beautiful feet of those who preach the Gospel.” (Romans 10:15) He remarked that when he thought of feet, he visualized bunions, scars, dry skin, arthritis, worn and tired ones. Never beautiful!
One of the things my mother-in-law remarked about me when she first saw me over forty years ago when I was barefoot, was my long toes. It was comical really, because I loved going barefoot, and even though she’d seen them many times over the next four decades, still she would comment. It made me a little self-conscious, but not so much I chose to hide them.
We are each given “beautiful feet” with which to spread the Gospel of Christ. How we perceive our “feet,” in light of this verse, ultimately is how we perceive our abilities, since our abilities are an extension of our personalities. Even if our “feet” are covered with bunions, we can move forward. Our “bunions” –those things in our lives considered trials or perhaps something in our lives that needed correcting because it went against God’s teaching, or just something you don’t like, makes our story unique, as do our scars.
The situations in which we found ourselves over the years, good or bad, has caused us to grow. Our responses to elements in our lives to those circumstances, molded us and changed us to become the person we are. Our personal story is what we can share with others as we minister. God has provided these conditions that are different from others we know, because it enables us to have empathy with someone who is going through a similar situation.
We may not even know the impact we have on someone else. It can happen in the grocery store, doctor’s office, at work or at the bus stop. When we share our heart with someone who is willing to listen, we form relationships. These interactions are a perfect opportunity to share our faith. That is the idea behind using our “feet” to share the Gospel. Our “feet,” –personalities, abilities or circumstances put us there.
By using our personal stories to connect with others, due to where we are, how we feel, our experiences and particular personalities; despite our scars, pain, arthritis and worn bodies, we are sharing Christ. We are making ourselves vulnerable with love and understanding to others. But by making ourselves vulnerable, others can see our hearts and see Christ in our lives. We don’t need to bash someone over the head with the Gospel, but we do need to be honest about our faith in our lives to others, and let God’s light shine through.
I challenge you to reflect on your own “feet.” Where are they taking you? Are you using your “feet” – your abilities—to further God’s Kingdom right where you are? Do you allow others to see your scars, “bunions,” arthritis and pain?