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Archive for May, 2014

Beautiful Feet

Image

by Carolyn Bennett Fraiser
Photo courtesy of Lisa Zader

Originally published on April 29, 2014 on iFlourishOnline.com, reprinted with permission.

Unlike many of my girl friends, I have never had a passion for shoes. Shoes were nothing more than a covering for my clumsy, dirty feet. I wore them until I could feel the moisture seeping through the holes in my toes. Sandals were not an option. My ugly feet embarrassed me.

But God calls my feet beautiful. “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” (Isaiah 52:7 NIV).

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to travel overseas with a missions agency where I was employed. I watched as the people I met struggled just to meet basic necessities, and simple acts of kindness made the biggest impact. Tears flowed down a woman’s face as a missionary in Mexico washed her feet and handed her a pair of new shoes. In the middle of a slum village in India, a young girl watched me closely from the corner of a shanty. Beneath a burlap dress, her feet were calloused, covered with layers of dirt and sand. I doubt she had ever owned a single pair of shoes, but she was content to be near her family and clothed.

But the most disturbing image was seared into my memory on a trip to Indonesia shortly after the Asian Tsunami in 2004. The immense rush of water had carried a cargo ship two miles inland and dumped it on more than a dozen shanty homes. Just outside the wreckage lay a single toddler’s shoe, covered in mud.

In a broken village, my heart crumbled to pieces. I could no longer hold back the tears. My knees sank into the cracked mud, and my body shook with words I could not find. I was embarrassed, but this time, it wasn’t about my own feet. Every foot was precious. Every toe, valuable. Every person, loved by God and not forgotten. My previous embarrassment seemed hideous to me. How could I devalue God’s creation so greatly?

Today, I still don’t get over-excited over shoes, but I am thankful for every pair I own. No longer ashamed of my feet, I wear sandals without hesitation. If God says my feet are beautiful, I won’t argue. But every time I put on a shoe, I remember the children and women I’ve met with uncovered, dirty, beautiful feet and thank God for the impact each of them has made on my life.


 

Carolyn Bennett Fraiser is a freelance writer and photographer in Asheville, North Carolina. A graduate of Regent University, she is a local news reporter for The Journey Christian News and works with high school students who are interested in writing and photography. Carolyn and her husband are currently completing their licensure to become foster parents and hope to eventually adopt a child or two. In addition to writing, Carolyn enjoys reading, playing the piano, and snuggling with their two cats. Follow her blog at carolynbfraiser.wordpress.com or @carolynbfraiser on Twitter.

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