I have a few shoes. Recently I took a trip and narrowed my footwear needs down to 5 pairs. For 36 hours away from home. The struggle is real.
In this family, we each have a few too many shoes. Everyday shoes, sneakers, flip flops, sandals, Crocs, dress shoes, backups to any of the aforementioned, rain boots, water shoes, snow boots, cleats…the list goes on.
Two of each shoe. Times five people.
In an ideal world, they are all in their assigned tub at any given moment. But due to circumstances beyond my control, someone’s shoe has always gone rogue. At the top of the stairs, outside a bedroom, under a desk, by the wrong door. Occasionally, it’s a tripping hazard or an all out projectile.
My boys never showed an interest in my shoes (or shoes in general). My little Sydney? Loves them. Channeling her inner Dr. Seuss: she likes them at the store and by the front door; she likes them on friends she meets or on her own feets; shoes shoes, she likes them in twos!
She picked out her latest new-to-her pair all by herself. She beams when I slip them on her. They are the reason I had to circle back to hunt for it in the store parking lot. Naturally, she had tossed one out the window as we drove away and then cried for 25 minutes until we went back and found it.
When she spotted my dress shoes today – it was like she had won the grand prize.
This girl knows we have something in common. She knows she is a little version of mommy. More than her brothers. Different than Daddy. And my shoes clearly belong on her feet (along with my jewelry and purse, but that’s a different story).
I have two ways of thinking & behaving.
One when I remember I bear the likeness of God.
And one when I forget.
When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
I don’t think my daughter forgets she is my mini-me. Sure, someday she might. Someday she might want to. But at the moment, she beelines for my shoes (and whatever accessories she can get her hands on!)
But I forget I’m God’s mini-me.
I zero in on my own tasks, my own story, my own wisdom. I stop taking notice. I stop being mindful. I see things from one angle & one angle only. Through a me-angle-lens.
- I stop patterning my heart after His.
- I stop patterning my words after His.
- I stop patterning my concerns after His.
- I stop patterning my priorities after His.
When I remember I’m God’s mini-me, I regain sight of who I am and why I’m here. I slip into his shoes and take them for a walk. I become bound and determined to walk as He does.
I take notice of what He is like. What he cares about. I lean into what He would do. What does it look like? The love of Christ compelling me. It’s a beautiful thing.
When I remember He created me in his image, to bear his likeness, I fall in step (no pun intended) with His Spirit.
When I forget, I trip over His stuff and grumble all the way down.
Forgetting leads to my stumble. Sometimes with a swift recovery and courtesy jog. Usually flat out face down to the ground. Feeling inconvenienced. Frustrated. Interrupted. Irritated. Out of control. “Who put those shoes there?”
Only when I consider what is in front of me as God’s ordained path for my day can I really respond as He would. When I recognize my core humanity bears likeness to Him, I remember to let Him live out His ways, purposes and passions through me.
Just as my size 10s must look ginormous to her size 5 toddler tootsies, at times, God’s “stuff” seems much bigger than I can imagine slipping into. If I lose sight of who bears the size of that challenge, I’ll roll an ankle or chuck the shoe clear across the room (I will do it, don’t test me!).
But if I remember His yoke is easy and his burden is light, I’ll slip into that over-sized clog and image-bear those shoes right down the path of His perfect plan.