I needed new black boots.
I had two pair. Both were old.
I had resorted to black magic marker on the toe of my black ankle boots because they were so scuffed.
The calf high black boots broke at Allume.
I’d been meaning to buy a new pair for over a month, and had even looked once, with no luck.
Monday I was desperate. I was flying to D.C. for two days at 7 am Tuesday morning. The reports predicted cold, to the point of snow flurries, in the Capitol. I’d be doing some walking but I’d also be in meetings in a suit.
I left work a half hour early to swing by the DSW near my house. It wasn’t the biggest DSW but the only one I could get to and still be home in time for dinner.
I said a silent prayer, a la Priscilla Shirer’s God is Able advice that God works in EVERYTHING, and dashed inside.
My must-have boot criteria included:
- Color – black;
- Heel height – low, preferably a wedge;
- Style – simple, dressy enough for a suit, and preferably calf height to keep my legs warm (ahem, calf height boots were harder to fit since I’m heavier this winter…);
- Plus, I had size and budget constraints.
I grew worried as soon as I walked in. Their boot selection was half the size of a month ago. Maybe I had missed the optimum boot-buying season in Houston.
I walked through the first full aisle of boots. Nothing.
I walked down the second, and last, aisle of boots and there, third to the last, a pair of boots caught my eye.
- Black simple calf-height boots – check!
- Low wedge (super cute) heel – check!
- My size – check!
- My budget – five cents under, check!
Then came the defining moment. Would they fit? I noticed on the inside near the zipper a small black fabric panel clearly designed to stretch. They zipped right up!
I found them in less than 10 minutes.
If you think people who trust God with things are a little nutty, then I suggest you stop reading this post now.
I believe God went shoe shopping with me on Monday. That He did that “small” thing for me. That He worked in that moment to reach me in a little way that felt incredibly big.
I’ve been reading In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day by Mark Batterson. In it, he shares a story from the Bible about this group of prophets chopping wood near the river with Elisha. One loses an iron ax head into the river and mentions his disappointment in an aside to Elisha. Not expecting anything. Maybe sympathy. But Elisha doesn’t mind asking God to defy the law of physics and make that iron ax head float. This is what Mark says next:
This ranks as one of my favorite miracles in the Scripture for a couple of reasons. First, this isn’t a life or death situation. Yes, it’s a borrowed ax head. Yes, he lost it. But if that’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you, you’ve led a pretty sheltered life. You know what I’m saying? It’s an ax head. This may sound crazy, but doesn’t it seem like maybe you ought to save an amazing miracle like this for a bigger tragedy? But I think this reveals something about God. He cares about the little things like borrowed ax heads. God is great not just because nothing is too big for Him. God is great because nothing is too small for Him either.
Priscilla Shirer says the exact same thing in God is Able,
I don’t waste time anymore feeling like my little problem might be too insignificant to bring to God’s attention…What I’m saying is God knows about the little things. Your little things. Because when they concern YOU, they’re not little things anymore.
I left my friend a message as I left the store and said, “This is going to sound nuts, but God completely helped me find boots I needed for a work trip. I can’t tell anyone but you because they will think I am CRAZY.” You know what her response was? Of course God found you those boots. And I tell people when that stuff happens to me. I’ll say, this happened because GOD DID IT! So you just tell people – you tell everybody. Start squawking about those boots. Stop people on the streets! Because people need to know about these things, and if enough of us start talking and telling these crazy stories, then they won’t be crazy. This needs to be normal!
Oh, and friends, the very next day I walked around in the cold DC weather warm and comfortable. I put those boots on at 4:45 am and did not take them off until 9:30 pm. When is the last time you wore brand new shoes on the first day for 16 hours and your feet did not hurt? Never!
Each time I looked down at my feet, I thought, this was God’s gift to me. I thought about all the ways God works in my life every time I looked down at those boots or noticed my feet still felt fine. I walked down to see the National Christmas tree lit up after dinner as comfortable as could be.
Block after block. In those boots I found on my shoe shopping trip with God.
(P.S. I went to look for a photo of the boots online for this post. They’re nowhere to be found on DSW’s website. I found a photo on Nordstrom’s website priced at $179, well outside of my boot budget…)