The summer before my daughter’s freshman year included one rigorous shopping trip for clothes and school supplies. It was all fairly routine until we found ourselves in the shoe section of a favorite store…
I saw these shoes, and I’ll admit to you that there was only a hint of attraction when I picked them up to show my daughter; it was her reaction to them that made the sale.
It was something like, “NO WAY! Don’t EVEN think about buying those, Mom.”
The word hideous was used, and I remember a comment about “not being seen in public” with me before she put up her hand, turned on her heel, and walked away.
How could I RESIST? Of COURSE I bought them!
These shoes have stirred up emotions and sparked lively conversations over the years. One friend wrote a sappy poem about them while another conspired with my daughter to make them “disappear” while I was on a trip out of town. Even when they are tucked safely away in my closet, threats of a one-way trip to Goodwill have been made by both family and friends.
I’ve also found I can’t blend in with a crowd while these beauties are on my feet. They make a STATEMENT when I wear them, in a language all their own; not unlike what happened in Jerusalem, at Pentecost (Acts ch. 2).
When God unleashed His Spirit on Jesus’ followers that day, He made them STAND OUT! What else could the tongues of fire have been for? They certainly weren’t going to “fit in” with any crowd while flames erupted on their heads!
God’s invitation to His followers at Pentecost was clearly NOT to a life of predictability and status quo. When His Spirit comes in power to willing disciples, PEOPLE TAKE NOTICE! In just one day at Pentecost, about 3,000 onlookers witnessed the unusual events, felt the power of the Spirit of God, and responded by putting their faith in Him.
Scripture teaches us that when God’s Spirit of truth comes in power to willing disciples, we will KNOW the truth, and that truth will SET US FREE (John 8:32). That truth does something else, too. Author Flannery O’Connor once said that, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you ODD.”
THIS I BELIEVE – just look at me! I sit at my computer today, a willing disciple of the risen LORD (pink shoes notwithstanding), and while you probably won’t believe that there are flames of fire on my head, I promise that those flames ARE HERE, in my HEART. I feel something like a Galilean these days, because although I’m equipped with a head (somewhat) filled with knowledge, I’m not formally “schooled” in religion – I’m simply a follower of Yeshua, like the first disciples were. An unlikely candidate to deliver a message that might affect, or even change, the world.
Yet the Spirit of God comes in power to set apart the lives of those who yield to Him.
- We are MARKED by His glorious presence.
- We are CLAIMED by the God who created and breathed life into us.
- We are EMPOWERED to DO, in Jesus’ own words, even greater works than His own (John 14:12), putting God’s glory on display for all to see.
In the process of all of this marking, claiming and empowering, as with the disciples at Pentecost, these lives we live are changed.
Gone are the days of getting lost in the crowd; instead, let’s wear our uniqueness like a pair of pink shoes while the fire of God’s truth burns brightly in our hearts.