How often have you been driving down the road and see one lone shoe on the side of the road? Or lying in the middle of the road? Usually it’s a flip flop, sometimes it’s a tennis shoe. Do you ever wonder what happened to the other shoe? I do, but that’s just how my mind works, I guess. What good is one shoe? I mean, assuming you have two feet, one shoe doesn’t do you much good.
I work for quite an unusual lady. I mean that in the best sense of the word, and I am not saying that because she’s probably going to be reading this and I really need to keep my job. I have been blessed to work for some truly wonderful people in my life and this lady is no exception. You’ll see what I mean here in a minute.
She recently shared this story with me.
A few years ago she had the privilege of caring for her aging parents. Unfortunately, her mother had fallen and broken, not one, but both of her wrists. Ouch. She was taking her mother to the doctor one day and had decided to pull up to the curb in front of the clinic and double park long enough to help her mom out of the car and inside. She was wearing her nurse’s uniform at the time and clog type slip on shoes. (Brand: Clarks. This information is important in a minute.) As she worked to get her mother out of the car and safely up on the sidewalk, she lost one of her shoes… down into the city sewer drain. If you spend the money to buy Clarks, it’s no fun to watch one go down the drain.
So there she stood with one shoe off and one shoe on, in downtown Birmingham, still needing to get her mom to the doctor, and finish her workday at the hospital. With only one shoe.
She finished getting her mom out of the car, onto the sidewalk, and suddenly remembered she had a change of clothes in her trunk from the previous Sunday. And she had a pair of shoes. Never mind that they were Sunday dress shoes, at least they were a pair. So she put on her dress shoes with her nurse’s uniform.
It was then she had the thought,
“What good is one shoe?”
So she took the Clark’s shoe she still had, walked back over to the sewer and flung it down with the first one. She told me she figured if someone found the first one, they might find the second one too and have a nice pair of shoes!
I’m not sure I know anyone else in the world that would have thought of that in that moment, but I am so glad to know her.
The Bible teaches us that faith without works is dead. This doesn’t mean that we are saved by our good works. No, that saving business is all Jesus. But good works are just a natural byproduct of a living, healthy and active faith relationship with Him. They don’t make Him love us more, they just make the relationship sweeter.
Just as one shoe is no good to anyone without the other shoe, so is faith without good works no good. The reverse is similarly true. Good works are fine apart from faith, but good works apart from faith serve only the worker in the end. Of course, those who received the benefit of the work are served, but in the end the worker gets the satisfaction of having done something, and so that part of him that desires affirmation gets a good stroke.
When good works are paired with faith, or come as a result of faith, it is God who is ultimately served. “Whenever you have served the least of these, you served me.” Matthew 25:40
For those of us in Alabama, as we live in the aftermath of last week’s tornados, we have a real opportunity to pair faith with good works to help our neighbors. No one should be excused from helping. We can all pray for those hurting. We can give what money we can to help the needy. We can add a few extra things to our grocery cart for those in need and drop them buy a donation center. We can go to work sites in communities hardest hit and help sift through the rubble and clear it away.
Hold a hand, dry a tear, give a hug. Share Jesus. We can do that.