Cindy (my best friend, and I had the pleasure of praying with a man on the street tonight who came in from Tyler, who needed shoes, who got them from my trunk. The were the exact size. Great fit. Who knew that shoes would make grown man smile.
We chatted about his walk with Christ, his desire for a job, his hope for his future. He hugged me as if I were his mom, staring at his feet as he walked to the church across the street since it was midweek service time at the chapel. And yes, he wore his new shoes to church!
A friend of his, who is also staying at the shelter, asked, “So you just happen to have shoes?”
Cindy responded, “We do, at times.”
The man asked again, “Just because?”
“Yes, just because…”
“That’s pretty cool.”
I had the honor of slipping off another man’s shoes, to measure his instep, his calf size, the width of foot and get his shoe size. And also his heel size.
He’s also staying in the shelter and someone (a man in prison) is making him a custom pair of boots. The boots are all paid for, up front. Just for him. Just because.
And this friend of ours is watching the hand of the Lord craft hope into his heart. Oh, and for his feet. I’m watching a beautiful moment come together, too.
During this street ministry outing, another lady sat on bricks, and introduced us to her grandchildren. It turns out I met her in 2009, when she attended the recovery center (for addictions) and she remembered me from our church services. Those I still hold for the ladies every Sunday, even now.
A little girl hugged me too, and her big brother. He spouted to his dad, “She said I could get a hug. I needed one.”
Cindy and I handed out scripture cards to our friends, along with water. Along with our friendship, our hugs, and our attention.
One man told me of his hope for an apartment, and we prayed for the open door to come to pass. He nearly danced as he walked away from our talk, our prayer, and the fellowship.
I’ve come to see how much I need my precious friends on the street, a reminder of how Christ catches our tears, gives us new steps of faith, and in some cases … he brings a tape measure to the gathering.
Yes, I needed a tape measure to get the size of my friend’s feet. And of course, I forgot to bring one, but in a very specific moment, another homeless friend had one! Who carries a tape measure with them? I sure don’t!
This man wore ragged shoes, and the rubber peeled from the edges. He was the one who asked earlier, “So you just have shoes? Just because?”
He was so humble, he didn’t ask for shoes himself, but I got his size before we left. And I’ll deliver them to him in two-day when I’m back in town.
I love how God measures the heart, measure our steps, and measures our need for Him. He the Savior who brings shoes to a stranger. And hope to the heart. Just because … He first loved us!