Walk a Mile in My Shoes

By on July 14, 2013
person walking on wooden bridge

By Heidi McLaughlin –

“I could never wear someone else’s shoes” a friend of mine retorted when I suggested she try shopping for shoes at a Consignment Store. She turned up her nose and grimaced as she finished with: “That just grosses me out”.

Ok each to their own, but I was trying to be practical and help my friend find a way for her to cut back her expenses. After all, we are not like the Israelites who wandered through the desert for forty years and their shoes never wore out. Our shoes do wear out; and quite quickly at that.

It is evident that for some unknown crazy reason, women love shoesThe whole concept is bizarre if you think about it. Shoes are fitted onto the lowest, most unseen part of our bodies; the part that walks through rain, mud, gravel and sometimes snow. The get dirty, sweaty, scuffed and sometimes make our feet hurt. Yet it seems we can’t help ourselves. When we see a gorgeous pair of shoes on display, we are drawn in like a magnet to try them on and see what they will do to make the lowliest parts of our body more beautiful.

Yet there are times in our life when we do have to wear other people’s shoes. Elvis Presley was so inspired by the idiom “walk a mile in my shoes”, that he sang a song about it. He believed that before we abuse, criticize or accuse someone, we need to walk a mile in their shoes.

We all see the world through different lenses. This vision was formed by what we learned from our parents, teachers, siblings, T.V., magazines, neighbors, aunts and uncles. So when we look at someone else’s life, we find it hard to grasp that they don’t think or act the way we assume they should.  Consequently when someone disagrees with us, judges us, or rejects us, we respond by becoming defensive, angry and respond with retaliation.

This is what the idiom “walk a mile in my shoes” means to me:

  • In order for any of us to feel compassion instead of anger, we have to push aside all pride, disgust, judgment, prejudice and step inside the other person’s shoes. When we see life through their eyes for a day, or walk a mile in their shoes, we will begin to feel their pain, struggles, disappointments and the obstacles they have encountered.
  • I believe defensiveness and anger will turn into understanding and compassion when we begin to accept each other’s point of view. Jesus always knows what he’s talking about. He tells us “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Rom. 15:7, NIV).
  • Walking a mile in someone else’s muddy, sweaty, worn out shoes, is the only way for any of us to learn to accept each other and live in the beautiful harmony we were designed to experience.

As women of influence we must learn to walk in other people’s shoes. Our greatest role model, Jesus Christ, stepped into our shoes when He went to the cross to die for us and declare us to be free from all our misdeeds and sin. How dare we then, to receive that sacrificial, free gift from Jesus Christ and not pass it on to the rest of the world?

I’m not saying this is easy. Jesus died for my offenses and sin.  I must learn to die to my self-righteous way of looking at someone else’s life by stepping into their dirty, worn out shoes and accepting them for who they are. It’s not a nice option, it’s a command that works.

 

Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. She is married to Pastor Jack and they have a wonderful, eclectic blended family of 5 children and 9 grandchildren. When she is not working, she loves to curl up with a great book; or golf and laugh with her husband, family and special friends.  You can reach her at: www.heartconnection.ca.

 

About Heidi McLaughlin

Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. She is married to Pastor Jack and they have a wonderful, eclectic blended family of 5 children and 9 grandchildren. When she is not working, she loves to curl up with a great book; or golf and laugh with her husband, family and special friends. You can reach her at: www.heartconnection.ca

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Walk a Mile in My Shoes