Posted on October 1, 2009


yes, this is another repost – to say this week has taken me hostage would be a severe understatement. however. if you want to get to know me at all, even just a little bit, read below. i wrote this over a year ago and thanks to anne’s post today, i was once again reminded of the importance of justice. and our role in fighting poverty and defending the orphans. may we never forget to “rescue the perishing”

– E

I have 28 pairs of shoes. 28. I sat in my closet today, counting with tears welling up in my eyes. This past weekend Russ and I went to my family’s church in New Braunfels, and in typical God-fashion, the sermon was something that resonated with me deeply. Rusty challenged us to go home and count our shoes. To look around and notice our priorities and understand that to the world, we are rich.    He counted. He had 20 shoes. A middle aged man with twenty pairs. The boys in his family equaled almost 50 pairs. He was broken.

I was too. The only thing I could think of was my “necessity” for these shoes at the time I bought them.

Oh. I need a new pair of black heels. Done.

I need some more tennis. Done.

These flip flops are so cute. Done.

I read a friend’s blog today where he mentioned that since he truly began following Christ, his life has become a little more wrecked every day. I can relate. Suddenly, these 28 pairs of shoes don’t seem exciting, they seem almost ludicrous. Excessive. Selfish.

Since Russ and I have come back from Lake J, it seems like God is continually bringing us to new realizations. Elizabeth mentioned to me the other day on the phone that it’s almost as though God is dropping atomic bombs on us left and right filled with His presence and His power. And this is such a good thing and I haven’t ever experienced a tangible feeling of constant movement on His part like I have these past few weeks. Because of this, I am so wrecked of the ordinary.

I want to stay this way. In Jesus for President, Shane Claiborne’s mother is mentioned. She says that there is no more dangerous place for a Christian to be than in safety and comfort, detached from the suffering of others. This breaks me. We always hear about the dangers of apathy and complacency but do we honestly know when we ourselves have fallen victim?

I don’t think so. Apathy weaves itself around the soul and takes root in the heart. Usually, apathy shows itself as a silent killer: you realize that you have become apathetic; you may even try to desperately separate yourself from the overwhelming urge to just sit, but it never leaves. And you just sit there. Apathy just plays that one chord song over and over again…never really desiring anything different.

And then you count your shoes, you take a look around your apartment stuffed with things and nonessentials and fancy accumulations and you wonder. Is this all there is?

He replies, “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Luke 12:33-34


“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.” Isaiah 1:17


“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27

How can we not care? How can we not hear these words and realize that there is more to life and God is calling us to a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him where we truly act out what it means to be a Christ follower?

“Let’s pray that God would give us the strength to storm the gates of hell and tear down the walls we have created between us and those whose suffering would disrupt our comfort. May we become familiar with the suffering of the poor outside our gates, know their names and taste the salt in their tears. Then when the ‘ones God has rescued’, the Lazaruses of our world – the baby refugees, the mentally ill wanderers, and the homeless outcasts – are seated next to God, we can say, “We’re with them.”

-Shane Claiborne

have fallen victim?