Summer and two different shoes

prodigal son and fatherThe word ‘summer’ has many connotations.  But you know, most of them come from those golden days of our childhood.

We remember beaches, ice-cream and sunshine. We remember  tramping across heather-clad hills, boating on calm lakes and sunshine. We remember the stays in picturesque towns, we bring to mind family picnics and we never forget the sunshine.

However, these are rather selective memories.

Since we understand, just fine, that beaches were often wind-swept and bordering  stormy seas, hills and waterways were often cloaked in rain and insects, and sand did get into our sandwiches.

Even in summer then the sun did not always shine.

Moreover, with maturity and experience of life, we realise there can even be winter days in the height of summer.

Yet despite the squalls and sunsets ahead in our lives, we can still celebrate summer. We can give thanks for this period when the world seems warm, enjoyable and so full of opportunities.  And above all, we can we quietly be joyful  because we have a God of unmatched shoes.

A man who was commissioned  to paint a picture of the Prodigal Son. He worked determinedly to create an image truly up to  telling this most famous of parables.

Finally, the day came when the picture finished.

The scene was set  outside the father’s house, and showed the open arms of each as they were just about to meet and embrace.

The man who commissioned the work was well pleased, and was prepared to pay the painter for his work,  when he suddenly noticed a detail that he had missed. Standing out in the painting above everything else in the scene, was the starkly apparent fact that the father was wearing one red shoe  and one blue shoe.

He was incredulous.

How could this be, that the painter could make such an error?

He asked the painter, who simply smiled  and said

“ Yes, this is a beautiful representation

of the love of God for His children.”

“What do you mean?”

he asked, puzzled.

“The father in this picture

“The father was not interested

in being colour-coordinated

or fashion-conscious

when he went out to meet his son.

In fact, he was in such a hurry

to show his love to his son,

he simply reached and grabbed

the nearest two shoes

that he could find.

He is the God of the Unmatched Shoes.”

That’s then why we truly give thanks to God this very day.

It is because he, in Jesus Christ, is rushing towards us no matter the season.

In summer, he celebrates with us no matter how we are dressed.

In autumn he holds us tightly without concern for his dignity.

And in winter, he carries us – he carries us more than a mile

in our own shoes.

Illustration comes from

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