I have had very few people ask me about the red Converse sneakers I wear on certain occasions… but I have had plenty of folks look at me a little strangely. It’s not standard old man attire as they are far from orthopedic standards.
Regardless of the reactions, my reasons for these shoes is to simply remember.
I have written recently about what I believe was The Best Sermon I Ever Preached. It’s about the incredibly difficult but powerfully gospel work of being a foster dad.
These simple red Chuck Taylor sneakers remind me of two little faces that embody for me what foster care is all about. It’s about stepping into the mess with a child—wading through all of the hurt and heartache and sorrow that they most often don’t have the capacity to make sense of on their own—to show them the way out. It’s about taking some of their hurt so that they will have less.
Stepping into the trenches of foster care so that some kid will have a better story is a noble thing. But taking a child’s pain on yourself so that they can heal and find a better future… that is a gospel thing.
The gospel is about God stepping down into our mess to make a way out—and paying the price for that way out with His own life—to bring us to a forever family in Him. I’m convinced that the work we did with two little boys with big feelings and heavy memories is the most gospel thing I’ve ever done.
So I wear my red Chucks to remember those sweet little faces and the nearly 7,000 kids in my state that are in state custody. The one thing they have in common is that they are all disconnected from something that matters deeply to their souls.
I wear my red shoes to remember there are still so many who need someone to step into their mess and show them the way out.
I wear my red shoes to remember.
I hope you will remember too.
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