if you know me well, you might know….i love shoes.

my father started it.

although he was extremely conservative when it came to the purchases that he made,

all the rules went out the window when he ran across a good pair of shoes…

he loved the kind that molded themselves to your feet and became more valuable over time.

oh, and he wore socks with his expensive sandles to keep his toes warm. smile.

not only do i love shoes, but i love buying shoes for other people.

it rarely works out though because shoes are one of those things that you have to try on for yourself.

and once you wear them a few times, they are uniquely yours

just like the road each of us must walk in this life.

you’ve probably heard it said, “never judge a man until you have walked a mile in their shoes.”

for some of us, a mile can be a long way, depending on which path you must travel.

the world is on edge. weeping and wondering how something so horrific could happen.

how liitle children’s lives could be taken so senselessly

while so many are grateful that they can hug the ones they love and not have to step into the shoes of those walking that road.

i am filled with sorrow too, not only for those families, but for specific people God has put directly in my life in the last few months.

there is someone not too far from me that is sneaking a bottle of booze into his/her house, hoping no one will notice. deteriating by the week. alcohol runs through their veins and robs them of more and more dignity.

i have a special love for someone struggling with crippling depression, doing the hard work of going back and filling in the gaps of insecurity and seeking wholeness. wondering when/if they will get up again.

and others who have experienced great loss this year. there is an empty seat at the table. a whole in the center of their heart. grief and sadness and unbelief.

just last night I spoke with a woman who is so thin and so frail and so utterly shamed by something that she could not look me in the eye,

and recently a client confided in me that she and her husband have been trying to have children for years, without success…

broken people, a long mile.

it’s Christmas.

anyone need a Savior?

anyone need to remember that God sent His son down to earth so Jesus would know what it is like to walk in our shoes?

He’s the only one that can truly “get it.”

Jesus came and put his feet on the ground. He struggled. He felt weary. feared of the road in front of Him.

surely, He can relate to the brokenness in us. He walked a long mile for us.

i am not talking about a distant God who does not identify with very personal pain. i am talking about a

real life

right now

buffer you in the middle

walk-the-mile-with-you God.

He knows the road to freedom.

He can deliver us from addiction, depression, infertility, eating disorders, and shame.

He knows grief.

Whether you are feeling pretty comfortable right where you are or weary from your walk…

rest, just rest knowing that

God wanted us to know that He can relate to us so much that He sent His son

He became just like you and me, shoes and all.

and remember, even if you think that you are beyond his grasp, Jesus had some pretty deep, nail-scarred hands.

God was able to turn his pain into a beautiful picture of love…

only God can do it.

He will walk this mile with us if we will ask Him to.

“Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” Hebrews 4:15 (The Message Translation)