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A Mile in the Pastor's Shoes

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  • A Mile in the Pastor's Shoes

    I grew up in an independent fundamental Baptist Church. OK, so that's a lot of what's wrong with me.

    I went through some pretty ugly teen rebellion, but thought about the fact that my independent fundamental pastor was always badmouthing the Southern Baptists as a bunch of liberal don't-really-believe-in-God heretics, so I decided that was the group for me.

    It just so happens that the Southern Baptist Church I visited was Pastored by a godly man who was full of love and compassion, preached the word, and NEVER preached about other denominations -- he was too busy preaching Jesus.

    I decided to "get on board", and started helping out in their youth ministry. But I was still conflicted. I was still wanting to enjoy my rebellion, but was battling with knowing in my heart that God was calling me into ministry. PART of my rebellion was fault-finding with my Pastor. One evening, he stopped by my house. I was out in the garage, and he came in to talk to me. For reasons I don't understand, I started a fight with him, arguing that he didn't know my situation, and he was trying to "guilt me" into serving God.

    He made a comment (I honestly can't remember what it was, but had to do with outreach) that resulted me in barking "Well, THAT's YOUR job - you get PAID to do that!" And I had some suggestions for how he could be a better Pastor.

    What he did next was life changing for me. He bent over, untied his shoes, stepped out of them, and told me very politely and kindly, "walk in those for a couple days, then stop by and see me."

    He walked back down the gravel driveway to his car with only his socks on his feet, his size 11 shoes on the floor in front of me. I knew in my soul I had just done one of the stupidest things I've ever done in my life, and watched as he drove away.

    The next morning, I took his shoes to his office, and told him "I don't need 'a couple of days' - I get it".

    He has been my Pastor for over 40 years, and truly is a man of God. Even now, when I think about that day in my garage, I can't help but think "loose thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy".
    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

  • #2
    "“Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.” - Jack Handey.


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