Over the last week my thoughts have been led back to our encounter with Demetrius this past winter. Demetrius, an apparently mentally challenged person that my husband invited to church one Wednesday night. My thoughts continue to go back to the shoes he had on.
As we drove up to the church where my husband was preaching, Demetrius was sitting in the alcove on the steps leading to the basement. My husband walked over and invited him to join us. He was a small stature man, his trousers about 3 sizes too big, the zipper would not zip, and his clothes were torn beyond anything I had seen in a long time. The sole of his left shoe was almost completely unattached and had large holes in the soles. His right shoe was in near condition. They flopped as he walked. Neither had shoe laces. It was almost as though his dress attire had to be ‘on purpose’. But as I continue to observe & feel much compassion for Demetrius I realized …it wasn’t.
Demetrius sat close by me in the service, I made sure of that. He smelled so badly that it was obvious to me that apparently he had not showered for many days. Even with his shoes in what I would consider non-usable condition, he didn’t even have on socks. There was snow on the ground and my heart began to break thinking how cold his feet must have been. I chose especially warm socks under my knee-high boots that night. I slipped off my boots & gave him my white socks with the pink colored toes and heels and he put them on. His smile broke down any barrier (I thought) that may have been between us.
Two thoughts particularly stick out in my mind this morning.
1. He has a name. It is not Homeless Man. I know his name. You know his name. Every time I hear the name Demetrius, I will probably be reminded of this man. God always knew his name.
2. I wonder what it would be like if at the end of our life; someone describes ‘the shoes’ we have worn.
One of our goals in ministry is what my husband has always said…
“You minister to people where they are NOT where you want them to be.”
I want the “shoes” I wear to be a reflection of my Savior! ~Jen