New Shoe, Part Two

By experience, not design, this post is a follow-up to the previous one.

I made my maiden voyage in the aforementioned new sneakers today (a five-mile walk/jog combo) and OUCH, my feet and legs are KILLING me!

Blisters on left and right, feeling a new muscle in my calves I never knew was there… I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

Well it turns out that the new pair of shoes I had just worn for the first time were defective.  Defectively made.  Factory error.  Two, in fact:  they had an exaggerated flat-footed effect since the cushion inside was far too thin, and secondly it wasn’t secured such that is slipped around like a well-oiled eel while I was walking, thus causing the blisters while the former caused the new and very unwelcome sensation in my feet and calves.

And that’s when it hit me, this glorious thought, this tremendous truth:  thankfully God never makes a mistake when creating each of us!

No.  Factory.  Errors.  With.  God.  He makes each and every one of us exactly  as intended.  Which sometimes seems “defective” from a human perspective but is actually and absolutely perfect and precious in God’s view, in reality.  On which even Republicans and Democrats alike can agree, and indeed have.  Like Sarah Palin who famously had her fifth and final child despite knowing in advance that he had Down Syndrome.  And like the Kennedy family who even far more famously have fought fiercely for five decades (via Special Olympics) on behalf of those that some people might (wrongly) view as “defective” in mind or body but whom they (very rightly) have viewed as preciously, perfectly-made people whose minds or bodies are just different than most but they’re no worse, no less weighty, no less valuable.

And it’s this fact that each and every person has been created exactly as God intended and in His very image which makes it so self-destructive to view others – to view anyone – as “less than” or “inferior” or “defective” or anything but worthy of respect and love and care and kindness.  Not because of them so much as Who made  them.  Not because of a person’s beautiful outward physical image but rather that they were created in the image of God Himself.

The logical, intellectually-honest result of maintaining this perspective is enormous love and respect for others… as well as for oneself – i.e., genuine, sturdy, steady self-esteem.

  • “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’ … And God created man in His own image” (Genesis 1:26-27)
  • “For Thou [i.e., God] didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb.  I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.  Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” (Psalm 139:13-16)

Yes, my friend, as I found out the uncomfortable way this week, shoe manufacturers make mistakes and errors and defects.  Thankfully – and infinitely more importantly – God never does.  So let us love and look out for others as much or even more than we do for ourselves…

  • “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:11)
  • “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4) …

and let us accept and love ourselves since God does…

  • “We love, because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
  • “God so loved the world…” (John 3:16) …

in view of the fact that we are indeed “wonderfully made”… if the righteous, holy, perfect God can accept and love a sinner like me, then a sinner like me can and must accept and love others.  And that’s a very easy task when one is aware of Whose wonderful image in which they were created.  I.e., when looking at our fellow man, may we see the handiwork and indeed very image of God, and treat them accordingly.

  • “and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all  men, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.” (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)

Not out of political correctness but rather spiritual correctness.

Not because society says to but because God does.

Not because people are inherently worthy but because God is.

Not because people don’t make (a lot of) mistakes (I put myself at the top of that list) but rather because God doesn’t.

No.  Factory.  Errors.  With.  God.

Unlike a certain shoe manufacturer.