I remember myself as a young, curious, and wonder filled child growing up in West Africa, Ghana. I walked barefoot to many places and I could count with two fingers how many shoes I could call mine. But that never bothered me as long as I could play to my hearts content and wonder off on dusty streets, hoping not to find myself in big trouble when I returned home to my mother’s questioning eyes. One gaze from my mother’s eyes and I could find some comfort whenever I hung my head low and simply gaze at my feet, as if they were a faithful and understanding companion.
My childhood memories are a somewhat fuzzy and often the playful pitter patter of feet within my family, turning into heavy steps, and hurried shuffles as my parents went their separate ways and we,their children, were left wishing we could start again. But everyday, like the rest of the body, we all have to wash our feet and start another day….the heart must forgive and let go of the things the feet has walked away from.
From Ghana, to Nigeria, to South Africa and now to America, these feet have been softened and strengthened, washed many times and developed their a unique personality, and carved its own bend. As a result, I stand like no other, and I will walk like no other. And all the while, these beautiful feet never cast a shadow of doubt on the value of my existence, nor do they condemn the woman I am, or the one I am longing to be. My feet, the faithful and understanding companion, seeks no prominence or place of honor. My beautiful feet will serve and humbly carry me on the good paths prepared for me. They remain as free as my mind can see, and as brave as my heart can run. They will walk away from harm and run to embrace love.
My beautiful feet are the most real and humblest part of me. They do not lie about where they have been, nor do they hasten after tomorrow. My beautiful feet will tenderly curl around my husbands feet, and patiently run in circles with my children, and at the day’s end, they will rest …. content to be where they ought to be. My feet stay alive and active and must be given a voice to tell its stories and room to bring the good news that it carries.
My beautiful feet tell the story of life, of joy, of pain, and of hope. They carry the shoes that I alone must wear. And everywhere these feet travel, from Ghana to Nigeria, and South Africa to America, and wherever else, these feet will continue to to discover new rhythms as it walks alongside many people and more importantly rests the beauty and grace of learning to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.