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shoesI look the last week and a half off from blogging.  We left Finland, traveled to Iceland as part of our journey back to the US.  Since returning to the US on Saturday, we’ve been doing some unpacking, seeing friends and family, and readjusting to American life and culture – remembering some great things about American culture and some, well, let’s just say they are things we didn’t notice before as much but kind of bother me now.

Along this journey back, it was time to set aside a beloved pair of shoes I had worn over the last several years.  In fact, they didn’t make it back to the US.  I left them in Iceland.

These were a special pair of shoes.  They were special in a way that each pair of running shoes I’ve ever had is special, but these shoes go way beyond any pair of running shoes that I’ve had.  Why?  Because these shoes have been with me through thick and thin, good weather and bad and had traveled to many wonderful places. These shoes, in a way, are part of my story of these last several years.

They’ve been to seminary and the food pantry that I worked at.  That’s when I bought them.  They have seen suffering and people trying to coerce the system (although, it’s not as many as most people think – most people would rather not be at a food pantry at all).  These shoes have traveled to multiple states and countries.  Oh, the stories they could tell.  The steps that have been taken with these shoes are each stories in their own right.  The ground these shoes have walked on are amazing places.

They have walked on pavement and sidewalks in noble cities.  And they have visited churches – lots of churches (being a seminarian means visiting churches).  They been on “holy” ground and very secular ground as well.  They have walked in places of history, places of life and places of death.  They have walked on paths that many had walked on before for centuries.  Oh the stories these shoes could tell.

But the time came to say goodbye to my shoes.  The shoe laces were shredding, yet again.  The soles were worn down.  The exterior was scuffed and scrapped beyond repair.  The inside of the shoes was worn away.  They had lived a good life and provided protection, comfort and support for my feet and the rest of my body.  But more important, these shoes gave me something that I think we could all learn from.  I could trust these shoes.  I always knew these shoes would be there for me when I needed them, without question.  These shoes would keep my feet safe from dangers on the road such as pointy things, sticky things, messy things, etc.  These shoes allowed me to go, and go, and go – making the most of every day.  The only reason I had to stop was because my feet got tired from all the journeying, not because the shoes hurt them.

I trust these shoes.  I have learned from these shoes – as odd as it may sound.  I will miss these shoes – my shoes.  Goodbye old friends.

Next up: back to the trip to Turku.