it was june in spain, dry enough that dust rose like a shroud on that barren soccer pitch. our new friends wanted a game with the americanos, probably to amuse themselves, and i had nothing in the way of shoes. i was in the middle of working off my sandals, but one of the girls eyed my child sized feet and then the largish shoes of one of the missionaries assigned to the other team and said, ‘no.’
i thought this meant no soccer, but she vanished for an hour and turned up with a worn pair of sneakers. she’d gone all the way home and back for me. i laced up those shoes as tight as they’d go and threw her a smile, the one that disappears my eyes. we played a hilarious, multilingual match, me fighting to stay upright in footwear four sizes too long, slipping hard in the gravely patches.
all the way home and back, for me. i’ve never forgotten it.
and sometimes grace is an hour grabbing shoes for a near-stranger, and sometimes it’s my twelve year old boy cooking omelets for dinner when i’m threadbare. and always it’s a Savior knowing my helpless claw toward death and trading me places on a long-ago cross.
o the blood, crimson love
price of life’s demand
shameful sin placed on Him
the hope of every man
thankful doesn’t quite cover it, but oh how i am.