Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Amherst, Virginia.
Friday, May 25, 2018
We serve the Lord with love and praise.

A message from our Pastor

Shoes in Church

                                     ~ Author Unknown

I showered and shaved, I adjusted my tie.

I got there and sat in a pew just in time.

Bowing my head in prayer as I closed my eyes.

I saw the shoe of the man next to me touching my own. I sighed.

‘With plenty of room on either side,’ I thought, 'Why must our soles touch?'

It bothered me, his shoe touching mine. But it didn't bother him much.

A prayer began: 'Our Father' and I thought, 'This man with the shoes, he has no pride.

They're dusty, worn, and scratched. Even worse, there are holes on the side!'

'Thank You for blessings,' the prayer went on. The shoe man said a quiet 'Amen.'

I tried to focus on the prayer but my thoughts were on his shoes again.

Aren't we supposed to look our best when walking through that door?
'Well, this certainly isn't it,' I thought, glancing toward the floor.

Then the prayer was ended and the songs of praise began.

The shoe man was certainly loud, sounding proud as he sang.

His voice lifted the rafters, his hands were raised high.

The Lord could surely hear the shoe man's voice from the sky.

It was time for the offering and what I threw in was steep.

I watched as the shoe man reached into his pockets so deep.

I saw what was pulled out, what the shoe man put in.

Then I heard a soft 'clink' as when silver hits tin.

The sermon really bored me…To tears, and that's no lie.

It was the same for the shoe man, for tears fell from his eyes.

At the end of the service, as is the custom here,

We must greet new visitors and show them all good cheer.

But I felt moved somehow and wanted to meet the shoe man.

So after the closing prayer I reached over and shook his hand.
He was old and his skin was dark and his hair was truly a mess.
But I thanked him for coming, for being our guest.

He said, 'My name's Charlie. I'm glad to meet you, my friend.'

There were tears in his eyes but he had a large, wide grin.

'Let me explain,' he said, wiping tears from his eyes.

'I've been coming here for months and you're the first to say 'Hi."

'I know that my appearance is not like all the rest. 

'But I really do try to always look my best.'

'I always clean and polish my shoes before my very long walk.'

'But by the time I get here they're dirty and dusty, like chalk.'

My heart filled with pain and I swallowed to hide my tears.


As he continued to apologize for daring to sit so near.

He said, 'When I get here I know I must look a sight.

'But I thought if I could touch you then maybe our souls might unite.'

I was silent for a moment, knowing whatever was said

Would pale in comparison. I spoke from my heart, not my head.

'Oh, you've touched me,' I said, 'and taught me, in part

That the best of anyone is what’s found in the heart.'

The rest, I thought, this shoe man will never know.

Like just how thankful I really am that his dirty old shoe touched my soul.

 

“My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?”  James 2:1-5

 

A Word of Thanks: Thanks to everyone for the kind wishes and lovely birthday cards! A special thanks to the EUMC Chancel Choir for the surprise celebration after rehearsal. I am truly blessed to serve such a warm and caring church family.

Many blessings,

Pastor Nancy