By Laura J. Bagby
CBN.com Sr. Producer
The other day I was admiring my Puerto Rican friend’s fancy feet, shod in some gemstone-gilded, strappy concoction. She gushed expressively that her recent purchase was directly linked to having a horrible day. To brighten her mood, she had decided to take herself shopping and indulge in a pair of stilettos.
I can relate. Only for me, I don’t need a really bad day to lure me into the luxury of slipping on a pair of pretty shoes. Believe me, one of my guy friends knows me well on this one. Every time I innocently suggest we shop for shoes, he smiles because he knows he is in for some giddiness on my part.
I am quite partial to the Cinderella variety, the kind that’s dainty or fancy or glittery or gold or maybe even all of the above, certainly high and girly. Perhaps it’s a throwback to my dress-up days as a child, when my older sister, Mel, and I would raid the treasure trove of Mom’s old clothes box. We ended up in some getup with gloves, scarves, hats, parasols, and heels and would pretend to be elegant ladies. Or maybe it simply goes back to just freeing up my feminine side to come out and play. Well, that’s my excuse anyway.
My tall-shoe fixation certainly doesn’t have anything to do with a diminutive stature. No, I am tall, about 5 feet 9 inches or so. In high heels, I can tower at about 6 feet. Lest you think it, wearing high heels isn’t some sign that I hate men or want to remain single the rest of my life. I have to say this now because I have had a run-in on this one.
I was with my 5-foot-2-inch roomie in a shoe store about three years ago. I had just placed yet another pair of slides on my feet and was prancing around in delight when an older and much shorter woman looked sternly into my jubilant face and wiped the smile completely away with her caustic sentiments. I don’t recall the exact words of that conversation—likely because I blocked those stinging thoughts from my memory—but the scenario went something like this:
“Do you really need to be wearing shoes that high, seeing as how you are already so tall?”
I wasn’t exactly prepared for a confrontation from someone I didn’t know and hadn’t even noticed. But somehow I had obviously unintentionally offended this frumpy, practical-shoe-type woman and now she demanded an answer.
So I shot back matter-of-factly, “I just like wearing them, and I don’t really care what people think.”
I was hoping that my curt reply, though said with a lighthearted smile, would stop this agenda-driven woman dead in her tracks. But I was wrong.
“How old are you?” she asked, determined to get at the bottom of my perceived wrong motive.
Don’t ask me why I replied, but when I did, I felt a bit helpless in her disapproving glances.
“Uh, 33,” I choked as nonchalantly as possible, trying to avoid her gaze as I looked for the highest pair of heels I could find.
It must have suddenly dawned on her that my ring finger on my left hand was noticeably naked of a glistening rock, because she confidently went straight for the kill.
“How do you expect to land a man by wearing tall shoes like those?”
OK. That’s it. Now you are stepping on sacred ground here, Lady. Equating my spinsterhood with the height of my shoe is a ridiculous notion.
I walked away partially stripped of my confidence. I didn’t buy any shoes that day and I had to have my roommate build me back up again. It was an altogether deflating shoe day.
Fast forward to yesterday. I opted for the pair of gold wedge sandals that I recently bought. I figured they would put a spring in my step after a string of rainy days. Well, spring isn’t exactly what I got—it was more like a consistently loud clomp. I should have checked my shoes for loudness at the store, but, honestly, who does that?
By early morning, my feet had kept their metronome pace so well that I had to laugh at myself. By the evening, one of my coworkers was snapping his fingers to the beat of my trudge. I good-naturedly smiled back. Note to self: don’t walk in with these shoes on in the middle of a prayer meeting.
In the above examples, intentionally or not, I had made a very clear statement just by the shoes I chose to wear— and neither message was what I was trying to present. I wasn’t trying to showcase my feministic independence, nor was I trying to be tacky and brash. I was simply attempting to be beautiful.
Oh, but left to my own devices, my attempts at beauty fall far, far short of the glory of God. I admit that outward appearances often get the better of me. Sometimes I am more focused on external beauty than the deeper and hidden things of the spirit. But God wants me to exhibit traits that go much deeper than an attractive exterior.
In 1 Peter 3:3-4 the Bible tells us, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight” (NIV, emphasis mine).
I read this passage and I just inwardly cringe because I know that on so many days, the spirit in me is restless and discontented and running toward shallow things. Instead, I should be running toward God.
Ultimately, my feet should be “fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (NIV) or shod “with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (NKJ), as it says in Ephesians 6:15, a familiar passage listing the pieces of the armor of God that are meant to eradicate Satan’s evil schemes. I have to wonder exactly what those kind of devil-stomping shoes look like. I bet they are absolutely glorious!
And while I am at it, I had best have the rest of me dressed for success as well—according to the holy ways of God. Look at what Colossians 3:12 has to say: “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” At other places in the Word, we are told to clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Himself (Romans 13:14, Galatians 3:27).
Now, what about you? What kind of spiritual statement are you making with those fancy feet of yours? Are you choosing to walk confidently on sacred ground? If so, are you donning the correct footwear? Are you choosing to walk wisely and to make all your paths peaceful, as Proverbs 3:17 instructs?
I pray that you and I as women will demonstrate the kind of beauty that is eternal, a beauty that is marked with the extravagant love of Christ, the boldness of the Holy Spirit, the adornment of compassion, the shoestrings of kindness, and the sole of humility.
How to Give Your Life to Christ:
1. Admit you are a sinner and need forgiveness.
2. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and
rose from the grave.
3. Through prayer, confess that Jesus Christ is the only
way to God and commit to live for Him for the rest of your
What to Pray:
Dear Lord Jesus,
I know that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe
that You died on the cross for my sins and rose from the grave
to give me life. I know You are the only way to God so now
I want to quit disobeying You and start living for You. Please
forgive me, change my life and show me how to know You. In
Jesus' name. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, please send
us an e-mail to let us know. Or you can call our CBN Prayer
Counseling Center at (800) 759-0700. We would love to talk
with you and send you some resources to help you begin your
walk with the Lord.
Laura J. Bagby produces the Health and Finance channels. She writes inspirational, humor, singles, and health articles.
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