loafin’ around

In case you haven’t heard, loafers are in this fall.  And that’s especially good news for me, because I already had a pair.  Honestly I can’t remember when I bought them, but it’s been years ago, most likely when they were in once upon a time way back in the past.  IMO, they never really go out, because they’re a classic.  And I like classics.

A truly classic Audrey Hepburn wearing loafers.  And a turtleneck, which is also apparently very fashionable this season.

My loafers could use a bit of shoe polish, and I’ll be getting to that soon.  Most likely after I fold some laundry and research as to whether we’ll get the new season of Downton Abbey on our local PBS channel.

Since it’s only September, I’d probably still be wearing sandals if it wasn’t for my feet.  My left foot especially has been in pain nearly the entire summer.  Part of it’s due to running, I’m sure, and a case of plantar fasciitis.  The other issue is my wearing of flip-flops and other non-supportive shoes.  But I’ve pledged to stop this irrational behavior and wear better shoes.  Mainly so I’ll stop limping around.  And because I really like to walk whenever I can.  I’m a big fan of walking.

Speaking of shoes, I recently read a passage in Passport Through Darkness that was illuminating.  The author, Kimberly Smith, while working in Africa, gave her shoes to a native woman.

Our eyes locked, and immediately I loved this woman.  The woman who I could’ve been.  The woman who could’ve been me.  The woman who certainly suffered hunger, war, rape, death of husband and children, simply because of the color of her skin, the spot on the planet she happened to fill, and the fact that she was a woman.
She pointed to my boots.  Unsure as to why, I put my hands out in a confused gesture.  Continuing to smile, she bent down and pulled gently at my boot strings.  She wanted my boots.


Kimberly Smith

Kimberly [looking fashionable, yet not wearing loafers] with her husband

I want to be a shoe giving kind of woman.  But here’s the thing:  A little later in Passport Through Darkness, Kimberly watched as a group of male soldiers loaded the plane she was about to board.  The group, whom Kimberly and her fellow travelers called the “Flip-Flop Patrol” because of the shoes they wore, were all wearing their normal shoes, except one.  One soldier was wearing the pair of shoes Kimberly had given the African woman.

As I wrestled with what to do, it occurred to me that this man could be the woman’s husband, or maybe she bartered with the boots for food for her family.  In the end, I would never know.  I’d done what I did in an act extending myself.  I chose an act of faith and love.  I decided to leave it at that.

Gosh, if that’s not a hard thing.  To leave it at that.  If you’ve worked with poor and homeless and people who need a lot of help for very long, you’ve most likely been taught there are rules you need to follow.  Don’t give them _________.  Don’t allow _________ to happen.  Be careful about _______.  There are workshops and trainings and even degrees offered on how to help people.  But doesn’t it all come down to:  Choosing an act of faith and love?

I seriously doubt anyone I’ll come across anytime soon will want or need my loafers. Yet I hope I hope I’m ready if they do.

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