My shoes are brand new. They’re beautiful. I’ve never worn any like them before. They’re a totally different style. They make me taller. They have a lot of bold colors in them. No one’s ever seen me in anything like them before.
They’re taking some getting used to, though. They don’t hurt. They don’t pinch. They just feel, well, different. Everyone’s looking at me differently in them, too, because they’ve never seen me wearing anything like then before. Not ever. Not even when I was a little girl.
I never thought I deserved shoes like this. I thought if I had them everyone would make fun of me, or tell me they didn’t look right on me; that they’re not my style. And then they’d try to take them away from me because they didn’t want me to have something they didn’t have.
I didn’t even have to buy them. Someone gave them to me. That someone had been trying to give those shoes to me for a long time. “Just try them on. You’ll love them! I promise you will!” But they didn’t look like I’d like them, so I said, “No, I don’t think I could wear those. They just aren’t me.”
That someone tried again. And again. Each time I kept looking at those shoes and found myself wishing I could have them. But I was too scared to even try them on. Because I might like them a bit too much, and I just knew I couldn’t wear them.
I was afraid of what people would say if I suddenly started wearing them. But then I thought, maybe I could try them for just a little while. See how they feel. Maybe just wear them around the house, and if I did like them, I’d wear them out in public. Around other people.
And if I didn’t like them, I could always take them back, right? I mean, after all, when you buy something in a store and it doesn’t work out for you, you can return it.
Except these shoes we’re going to be a gift, and I couldn’t return them. That would hurt the giver’s feelings. No, once I agreed to take the shoes they were mine. Forever. And I would have to wear them. So I kept putting off accepting my friend’s gift.
Until one day I look down at my old shoes. And I saw how battered and worn-out they really were. They were scuffed and they needed polishing. But even shoe polish wouldn’t help those old shoes. They were worn out. And tired. They were out of style, out of date. And I really didn’t have anything to wear them with anymore.
Suddenly, I wanted those new shoes. Not only did I want them, I NEEDED them. Desperately. I couldn’t wear these one more day. I just couldn’t. I also realized they’d been hurting my feet, but they’d been hurting so long I’d gotten used to the pain and didn’t even realize how bad they hurt my feet anymore.
Yes, it was time for a change. But was I ready? I thought so, but I was nervous.
I called my friend. And I said, “I’m ready for those shoes. I need a new pair. And I’m ready to start wearing them. Can you bring them to me now? ”
I could almost hear my friend smiling over the phone. And suddenly my friend appeared. With those new shoes in hand. “Here they are. Made just for you. See, your name is even written inside. But once you put them on, you can’t return them. Remember?” My friend smiled at me, and I looked longingly at the shoes my friend was holding. Shoes handmade just for me, even with my name written in them.
They were beautiful. Bright, bold colors, yet not overbearing. Soft leather, like rich warm butter. Yet with a firmness I knew would stand up over time, no matter what the weather was. No matter how much or how long I wore them. And the colors would go with any outfit.
“Are you ready for them?” My friend asked.
“Yes, I said softly. I think I am.” And I reached out my hands to take them.
“One thing first, though,” my friend said. “There’s a small price attached.”
“I knew it,” I said sadly. “You said they were free, but I knew it was too good to be true…” So I turned and started to walk away, more dejected than ever.
“Wait,” said my friend. “You don’t have your shoes yet. I made them just for you, remember, and if you don’t take them, my feelings are going to be hurt. ”
“But you said they were free. You said they wouldn’t cost me anything. Now you’re telling me there’s a price. And I have no money to buy them”
“You didn’t ask me what the price was.”
“Whatever they cost, I can’t afford it.”
“Oh, but you can, “said my friend. “It won’t be a problem at all for you. You see, the only cost for these new shoes is that you give me your old ones. Because you won’t be wearing them again. I have to throw them away so no one else will try to wear them.”
Give up my old shoes? I could never wear them again? Did I want to really take that chance? What if I wanted to go back to the old ones because the new ones didn’t work?
But those new ones were so beautiful, so tempting. And I needed them desperately….that I knew.
So I sat down. And I slowly removed those old shoes. I looked at them and realized that giving them to my friend in exchange for the new ones was the best thing I could do. Slowly I put them in those outstretched hands, as the new ones were gently slipped on my feet.
And what a difference! I suddenly felt better than I ever had in my life! I felt like a new person. Someone who could go out and conquer the world. Well, not maybe the world, not quite yet, but I could certainly make changes in my life.
And I am making those changes. It’s amazing what these new pair of shoes has done.
Are you ready for a new pair of shoes in your life? I know it’s scary sometimes, but taking such a gift from someone who only wants your sorrow and sadness in return for giving you a new outlook on life is an amazing feeling.
Try it. And tell me what those new shoes have done for you!