So, we've had clothes, we've had wardrobes, perhaps it's no great surprise that today we have shoes! Apparently the average person (UK?) owns 20 pairs of shoes... I am well below average, even if I count in slippers, wellies, walking boots and trainers! It always feels to me I own too many shoes - it was only when I got down to one pair of 'work shoes' that I felt the need to go out and buy another.
The purpose of shoes, the author notes, is to walk, to travel or journey. Yes, 'these boots are made for walking' as the song says.
He also sees shoes as symbol of hope (and though I struggle a bit with his basis for this, in the pile of shoes under glass in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial centre) it's an idea worth thinking about. We put on shoes - boots, trainers, sandals, etc. - for a purpose, to go somewhere or do something. For the most part this is positive, a hopeful thing.
He notes that we are born barefoot (obviously!) and asserts that we die barefoot (not necessarily) and that these are in some sense holy moments. He recalls Moses and the Burning Bush, where the sandals had to be removed because this was Holy Ground.
At the moment, I'm wearing comfy slippers, in a couple of hours it will be work shoes... as I change 'my feet' as we say in my family (we often say 'put some feet on' when we put on shoes) I will step out in hope to share in worhsip, reflecting and more with people I love.
As one of my favourite children's hymns says:
'One more step along the world I go - and it's from the old I travel to the new, keep me travelling along with you.'