Tuesday, August 18, 2009


The challenge was thrown down. A line drawn in the sand. Who amongst us was strong enough to rise to the occasion?

More than 35 people sat in the small room. Grouped into "families" and not knowing what each hour was going to bring. Surprise after surprise left some overwhelmed, others feeling excited and yet there were a few that were still a little confused.

Myself, I was among the latter. It had been three days with people that had quickly become my family and knew me like only brothers could. My story was their story, and their lives mirrored mine. It was as if we were put together after an intensive background check. However, no paperwork had been filed to provide that type of information. We were grouped in ways that no one could have imagined and the similarities within our circle could have only been known by One.

The weekend had been amazing up until the line was drawn for me. Although there was no sand I could see the line clearly. Well, maybe not clearly. It may have been blurred a little through the river of tears flowing from my eyes.

As the speaker wrapped up his talk he spoke of John 13, if my mind serves me right. He spoke of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples and receiving Jesus into their hearts. It was a very intense and touching moment and there were many tears while he talked.

Then the challenge came. "Who among you will take off your shoes today, stand, and allow Jesus into your heart?" was the question that was posed next. I am not sure who, how many or when people stood. I didn't need to know that.

I was still sitting. My shoes were still on. I don't need to stand up. I have Jesus in my heart. I do good things. I don't need to do this thing he is asking us to do. I'm a teacher. I go to church. I have been baptized, confirmed and married in the church. I am good to go!


Then the man spoke, Again.
"I ask you again", came the voice, "Who among you will take off your shoes, stand and take Jesus in your heart?" An older gentleman next to me removed his shoes and stood. Immediately he was surrounded by others who wanted to help him with this amazing moment.

I am not sure what happened next, or why.
I guess I probably do know why.

But my size 9.5 Nike Shox were now lying next to my feet. And all of a sudden I was standing. Right there in the middle of the room. I was standing, with shoes off, in the middle of a group of people I had met only 3 days prior.

Tears pouring down my face as person after person slowly walked over, placed their hands on my shoulders and prayed. Prayers of thanksgiving, prayers of a release and prayers of a weight lifted off of my shoulders.

I couldn't tell you how long I stood there. It felt like an eternity. But it felt Good. For the first time in a long time, a sense of peace consumed my body. Peace that only comes when a person realizes that their way is not the only way. A peace that comes when you turn everything over to God and let him in. I let him in.

I did just that!

I took my shoes off!

I stood up!


  1. Well done - Good and Faithful Servant.

  2. AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN ~ It was a beautiful moment. A line in the sand indeed!

  3. You just reminded me of the Sunday task of your dad after he surrendered his life completely. He would take his shoes off and shine them til you could almost see your reflection in them. Getting ready to go to church. Maybe he was seeing a new beginning in those shoes on the kitchen table as he worked to get them as shiny as he could. I know he drew a line in the sand that April when he took a stand for a new life that was so precious for that short 9 months.

  4. RT says what an absolutely awesome testimony! God is an awesome God!

  5. "Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God: But only he who sees takes off his shoes." -- Elizabeth Barrett Browning ...

    You were on Holy Ground.
    You removed your shoes.
    You saw.
    And God saw it too.

    Amen, brother. Amen.

  6. This post brought chills as memories of when I gave it up and let God flooded through my mind. It is so calming and rewarding to know He has got everything under control. Sounds like this retreat was great!

  7. Ok I had to add this comment...after putting in my info to add my last comment the verification word came up. It was 'bless.' AWESOME indeed for we have both been blessed with the love and light of Christ.

  8. Amen. Glory to God, and I say glory to HIS Name. The Lord wants us to give all, not just what we don't want, but all. Thanks brother for this post, and the follow. I don't write anymore on steve-themaninthemirror, long story, but there is plenty there to read, and I think help also for people. Please feel free to read some, or all of them, and share them if you'd like. My new blog is, (sealed unto the day of redemption), rejoicinginhishope,come by there and take a look around if you'd like. God bless

  9. hey man, thanks for the encouragement. i can't always do this...but you'll have 4 tickets under your name at will call in Sioux Falls that night. show up and grab em! Bring your kiddos if you can!