A friend gave me her shoes. She was cleaning out her closet. We wear the same size, so she gave me a bag full of shoes.
No matter how many times I wear theses shoes, I will never ever be able to walk the journey she has walked. I will never ever be able to fully relate to the days she has spent in these shoes.
She is my friend. But I have not walked in her shoes.
I’ve listened to her story. I love her deeply. But I have not lived it. I have not walked it.
Then why is it that it is so easy for us to judge the journey of others?
Why is it that we can look at someone’s life from the outside and think that gives us a right to judge their insides.
We do it. ALL. THE. TIME.
I do it. You do it.
Don’t even try to tell me that you don’t.
I won’t believe you.
You have ideas about me. Maybe you’ve even made judgements about me.
You have not walked in my shoes. You have not walked through my pain- my journey of being hurt by unfaithfulness, stung by grief, weighed down by the sorrows of this life.
And I haven’t walked in yours.
I haven’t born your pain, carried your loss, or been wounded the way that you have.
He bore your pain. He bore mine.
He walked in my shoes.
“And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” John 1:14
“Surely He bore our pain and took up our suffering.” Isaiah 53:4
He loved us. He saw our pain and brokenness and He loved us.
He sat with the tax collector.
He embraced a prostitute and wrote in the sand.
He drew water for a woman divorced five times and living with a man who was not her husband.
He touched the leper.
He ate dinner with the liars and thieves.
So why in the world do we think we have the right to sit in judgement?
Our example is LOVE. He lived love. He spoke love. He breathed in love and exhaled.
Even in directing people to the truth it was covered in love. Bathed in grace.
“And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:11, 12
He pours the cup of living water and holds it out for us to receive.
“Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13
He stands in the mud with the worst of the worst, holds our face in His hands, breathes love and holds the keys of mercy, forgiveness, and grace before us.
Every human soul. Created by Him. Loved by Him.
He walked in my shoes.
He walked in your shoes.
And He stands there in the midst of our journey with love. In His eyes. In His voice. In His touch.
For the unfaithful.
For the addict.
For the gossip.
The cheater. The thief. The liar.
Yes…precious Miley Cyrus.
Friends, He LOVES her! He believes in her. He sees her brokenness and has compassion for her.
He would have met her side stage and would have taken her into His arms, carrying her sin and shame and brokeness on His back.
He would have written in the sand for her.
He would have washed her feet and served her a meal.
I am still weeping for Miley and the hundreds of broken souls like her. I wish I could have jumped through the screen and embraced her. I wish I could have covered her ears and pulled her aside as people who claim to love Jesus so poorly reflected His love.
I would have whispered in her ear:
Miley, you are beautiful. You are loved. There is so much more to this life than what you’ve known. There is joy and freedom and hope and love.
He walked in your shoes, my dear girl.