If the Shoe Fits

Years ago I was an assistant shoe buyer for Macy’s (at that time, the Bamberger’s division). As we visited stores, salespeople would tell us when women were trying on a particular style of shoe a lot but never buying it. The fit wasn’t right.

An amazing thing would happen, though, when we would take the price down by 35 percent or so. Suddenly the shoes would fly out the door. My boss used to joke that there were no bad-fitting shoes, only bad prices.

From experience, I’m guessing that most of those ill-fitting shoes got worn only a time or two, and the wearer found even those few wearings painful.

The same thing can happen if we aren’t wise in the way we respond to needs in the social justice arena.

Something touches our hearts. The face of a child. The eyes of a mother lacking hope. The weariness of a father who cannot provide for his family. The hunched shoulders of farmer surveying his crops destroyed by drought, or floods, or fire.

We want to do something. But what? How did God design us? I really believe that’s the answer to what we should do. Not operate out of guilt or wherever someone shouts that there’s a need. Those motivations act like a marked-down price—they lead to buyer’s remorse.

Instead of jumping into a role, first ask yourself:

  1. How has God created me?
  2. What are my skills?
  3. What do I already love to do?
  4. What do I hate to do?
  5. What experiences have I had that God might want to use to help someone else?

And while you ask, pray. Ask God how he can use your unique make-up. He knows, and James 1:5 tells us that if we lack wisdom, we can ask God and he will generously give it. Then based on your observations and his wisdom, choose the mission that fits.

A friend shared this blog that’s a great illustration of listening to God. Diana Scimone allows us to look at the process God used in her life to bring her to her mission. I hope it will encourage you to find your fit.


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