We Never Thought to Ask…

Tuesday, May 6

?????????????????????????By Chris Lasley of Vancouver, Washington, USA

But the meek shall inherit the land, and delight themselves in abundant peace.

—Psalm 37:11, adapted NRSV

My brother had a friend whom we called “Barefoot Mike.” He never wore shoes. We lived on a gravel road, and we could see him coming toward our house across the gravel, and he didn’t even flinch.

I remember asking him, “Doesn’t the gravel hurt your feet?” He answered with a smile. Year after year, all year long even through the snow, Mike walked barefoot. Years passed, I married and moved away. When I was on a return visit to mom, I was shocked when I saw Mike. I asked, “Is that Barefoot Mike? He’s got shoes on.”

“Yes,” mom said. “One day he just showed up and had shoes. So I asked him why he went without shoes all those years. He said, simply, that he didn’t have any. They wore out so he just started walking without them.”

All those years, and we never thought to ask him if he needed a pair! Mike never complained and never asked for help. He never felt sorry for himself. He accepted life as it came.

Today, Mike still comes and goes, but he now drives a car. He helps others whenever he can. He gave my elderly mother a turkey, and this summer he shared some homegrown tomatoes.

Looking back, I regret not asking him if he wanted or needed shoes. Yet, because we accepted him the way he was, he felt comfortable enough to remain friends throughout the years—shoes or no shoes. He didn’t have much to share, but he shared abundant peace.

Prayer for Peace
Compassionate God, open our eyes to see where there is need. Help us look past the humble smile and into the realities of the haves and have-nots. May we share without hesitation.

Spiritual Practice: Generous Offerings
Spend time meditating on the act of giving an offering. Begin by asking God for the spirit of generosity. Pray and reflect with these questions: How do I feel when I bring my offering to a worship setting and share it? What deep reasons motivate me to give? What is my best understanding of A Disciple’s Generous Response? Considering my financial circumstances, do I feel I am giving to my true capacity? In other words, am I giving what I am capable of giving without jeopardizing the needs and well-being of my family? Is God asking me to be more generous? How will I respond?

Peace Covenant
Today, God, when I ask someone how they are, I will risk waiting for the real answer.

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Leave a comment


  1. Susan Gregory

     /  11 May 2014

    There are a lot of ‘barefoot Mikes’ out there – with other unspoken needs. Chris, your story will help each of us see others differently now. Thank you for sharing your testimony!

  2. Katherine McLeister

     /  7 May 2014

    I too want to say what a wonderful story! Now all that read it must be more aware of others and there needs!

  3. Diane Akers

     /  6 May 2014

    Wonderful story and so appreciated you sharing it! Hopefully it makes me more aware of peoples needs!


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