The truth is that this post is about truth – but in an obscure way, it has to do with feet – my feet. And it has nothing to do with tennis, or any other sport for that matter…
I have always had bad feet – from my earliest recollections as a child. I was the only one I knew who could go to Shapiro’s Shoe Store, on 95th Street in Chicago, buy new shoes with Mom, and then NOT walk out with them. You see, each pair of shoes I had, from the first time I took steps, had to be fitted with “bars and heels” on the underside of each shoe. Then it was several weeks before I could go back, try them on again and walk out with my new purchase.
I distinctly remember Mom handing over the shoe prescription to Mr. Shapiro himself. Each time I went to the doctor, I got measured and sure enough, the next pair of shoes would have some minor change to the modification as I grew. I was told, and vaguely remember, that I even had to wear shoes that were connected with a bar between them when I was sleeping in my crib in the very early years. I was one of those kids with shoe envy. There were only certain pairs that were constructed in such a way as to be able to be modified. I guess you could say that I always had expensive shoes – at least for a kid – because they were the only ones that could be adjusted the way the doctors wanted. For as long as I can remember, I wore Florsheim’s – and I never owned a pair of loafers until long after Janet and I were married. To this day, I can only wear “slip-ons” a few hours before my feet really bother me – not enough support – so as the doctors say, I can only wear “tie shoes.”
For years, as an adult, the professionals thought that my problems had been corrected by years of alterations during my growth years, but since then, it has been determined that the old ways of doing things really didn’t help too much. Especially during the last several years, I have struggled to find the correct combination of shoe inserts that will give me relief. I have even been referred to a great group of people who have dedicated two years to working with me to find a workable solution – without any sort of surgical intervention.
But I hope that you can appreciate that I am a little cautious when it comes to purchasing shoes these days. They must be well constructed, give great support and also be able to handle the foot inserts I have to wear each day. Otherwise, foot pain, knee discomfort, lower back problems and even cervical spine issues really begin to plague me. So, to cut to the chase, I have found the most relief with Mephisto shoes. They’re great shoes – just kind of pricey. Janet thinks I am a little over the edge on this stuff, but the truth is that I am tired of hurting. For almost 59 years, I have had screwed up feet and a really bad back, so I try not to take chances.
And while so many people order shoes over the internet, I try to make sure each style will fit and so I tend to go to local stores, at least for the first pair of some particular model of shoe I wish to try. So, while Janet was out of town, I was having a pair of shoes adjusted and while I was waiting in the store, I noticed a new pair of shoes I thought I would consider. They are a well known style of Mephisto and to be sure, they were a tad small with my orthotics. I set them on the counter, inquired about ordering shoes a half size larger, and completed the rest of my purchase. Finished with my business, I headed through the door and out to my car that was parked in the first space outside the store.
Suddenly, the owner of the store ran out through door toward me and asked if I had taken the new pair of shoes with me. Quite honestly, I never even looked in the bag to see what was there. But, sure enough, the shoes I had tried on were in the sack. I was stunned and immediately handed them back to the him. I apologized and explained that I was busy talking to the salesman and didn’t even look at what was being loaded into my bags. The problem is that I looked guilty – of theft – of a very expensive pair of shoes. Of course, the salesperson knew what had happened, but he said he thought the shoes were mine, so he put them in the bag. And with God as my witness, I had not taken the shoes on purpose. But I felt really uncomfortable – because the way the owner and the salesman looked at me, I had my doubts about whether they believed me or not.
The more I thought about it, the more upset I got. Do I say anything else? Or just get in the car and drive away? Am I going to feel comfortable going in there the next time? I doubt it. So now, I am really in a quandary. I like the store, one of the few that carries my brand, but I am concerned that they think I am dishonest. I let this incident ruin my whole day. I hope that I am overreacting, but the way they ran out of the front of the store, it certainly looked like they doubted whether I would return the shoes once I found out the error. And they even knew the shoes were not the correct size – after all, I had asked about ordering a larger pair – remember?
The verse tonight is from John 8:46, “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?” It was spoken by Christ and has special appeal to me today. What must it have been like for Christ to have been falsely accused? I just had a small incident and it really bothered me. I can’t begin to imagine what He went through. So my encouragement tonight is to live a God centered life where we always try to do the right thing. And my prayer is that God will protect us when we have been falsely accused and that will continue to be ambassadors for Christ on this earth – representing Him in each interaction we have with others. Also, that we may rest in doing what is right and know that the peace of God will eventually envelop us. Grace, and God’s peace, to you and yours….