My alarm went off- It was Sunday again.
sleepy and tired, my one day to sleep in.
But the guilt I
would feel the rest of the day
Would have been too
much, So I'd go and I'd pray.
I showered and shaved, I adjusted my tie,
got there and sat in a pew just in time.
Bowing my head
in prayer as I closed my eyes,
I saw the shoe of the man
next to me touching my own. I sighed.
With plenty of room on either side, I thought, "Why must our
It bothered me, his shoe touching mine, but
it didn't bother him much.
A prayer began: "Our
Father" I thought, "This man with the shoes has no pride.
They're dusty, worn, and scratched even worse, there are
holes on the side!"
"Thank You for blessings," the prayer went on.
the shoe man said a quiet "Amen."
I tried to focus on the
prayer, but my thoughts were on his shoes again.
we supposed to look our best when walking through that
"Well, this certainly isn't it," I thought,
glancing toward the floor.
Then the prayer was ended and the songs of praise
The shoe man was certainly loud, sounding
proud as he sang.
His voice lifted the rafters, his
hands were raised high,
The Lord could surely hear
the shoe man's voice from the sky.
It was time for the offering and what I threw in was
I watched as the shoe man reached into his
pockets so deep.
I saw what was pulled out, what
the shoe man put in,
Then I heard a soft "clink" as
when silver hits tin.
The sermon really bored me to tears, and that's
It was the same for the shoe man, for tears
fell from his eyes.
At the end of the service, as is the
we must greet new visitors and show
them all good cheer.
But I felt moved somehow and wanted to meet shoe man
So after the closing prayer, I reached over and shook his
He was old and his skin was dark, and his hair was
truly a mess
But I thanked him for coming, for
being our guest.
He said, "My name's Charlie, I'm glad to meet you, my
There were tears in his eyes but he had a large,
"Let me explain," he said wiping
tears from his eyes.
"I've been coming here for months,
and you're the first to say 'Hi.'
"I know that my appearance "Is not like all the
"But I really do try "to always look my
"I always clean and polish my shoes "before
my very long walk,
"But by the time I get here
"they're dirty and dusty, like chalk."
My heart filled with pain and I swallowed to hide my
As he continued to apologize for daring to
sit so near.
He said, "When I get here, "I know I must
look a sight.
"But I thought if I could touch you, "then
maybe our souls might unite."
I was silent for a moment, knowing whatever was
Would pale in comparison. I spoke from my
heart, not my head.
"Oh, you've touched me," I
said, "and taught me, in part,
"That the best
of any man "is what is found in his heart."
The rest, I thought, this shoe man will never know. . .
Like just how thankful I really am that his dirty old
Touched my soul...
Author remains anonymous
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