• Marnie Hammar

Shiny Shoes are Should's


I remember those shoes. They were glossy white, patent leather, with straps that slipped into tiny buckles adorned with sparkly “diamonds.” I saved them just for Sunday mornings at church, because we wanted to give Jesus our best.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Somewhere along the way, I turned this “saving the shiny shoes for Jesus” into thinking that I, too, had to be shiny for Jesus. I started bringing only the “best” parts of me into the steepled building, leaving a part of myself in the parking lot. Somehow, I thought only shiny Marnie was allowed inside.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ That might be when I started checking boxes for Jesus. Memorize scripture, check. Sing the hymns loudly with joy, check. Smile, check.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ It wasn’t that I was being fake. I loved Jesus. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ But I was living my faith like a sort of spiritual checklist of “should’s,” because I just didn’t understand that there was more. In all of my shiny should’ing, I missed actually knowing Jesus. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ I was well into my adulthood when I finally learned that it wasn’t polished shoes He wanted — He wanted my heart. Even the yucky, dirty, definitely-not-shiny parts that I thought I should leave outside. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ So I started paring down my made-up checklists and began talking to Jesus. The more time I spent talking with Him, the more I wanted to talk to Him. The more I wanted to talk with Him, the more I gave Him my dull and dingy. As I did that, He started transforming those dirty, dusty parts into His version of shiny — not the patent-leather kind, but the kind that is Truth and Light. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ I had it backwards. I didn’t have to polish anything for Sundays or any day, because Jesus is the author and perfecter of my faith, not me. And He’s not waiting for me inside the steepled building — He’s right there in the parking lot with me, removing one scuff mark at a time.


Read the rest at The Joyful Life Magazine.


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