For Kids 8-12
You might walk over 65,000 miles in your life. That’s almost two and a half times around the globe! What shoes will you wear?
Shoes can tell us a lot about the people who wear them. Suppose we found a collection of letters from people throughout time – about their shoes!
My people have been wearing sabots, or wooden clogs, for over 2,000 years. Until today, they were only good for protecting our feet. This morning, though, my sisters and I lost our jobs at the factory. I have to admit: we were angry. We threw our sabots into the machines. Now there are boys running through the streets saying we sabotaged the factory!
1335 BC Pharoah Tutankhamen Egypt
I saw my sandal maker last week. I’m ten years old and I’ve only been king for a year. I’d rather go barefoot, but kings have to own sandals. The embossed gold ones are OK, but my favorite sandals have papyrus plant soles and gold lined leather straps. The tiny ducks hiding in gold lotus flowers on the Nile look like the view from my window.
Late 1400’s AD Intuit Woman Greenland
It’s cold here in Qilakitisoq, but my daughter and I are warm in our animal skins and furs. I’m sewing a pair of sealskin kamiks for my little girl today. Her kamiks have a long, leather boot from above her knees down over her foot. I’m just sewing on the special sole now. She’ll be warm and safe in these.
67AD Emperor Nero Rome
SILENCE! I know there is a rumor that I am cruel. It must be my buskins that give that impression. My tall leather boots, topped with the claws and heads of small animals with tall cork soles make me look truly frightening on the battlefield. Everyone prefers my silvers sandals. Everyone, that is, but Poppaea Sabina, my second wife. Maybe I am a tad cruel. Listen to my music, now!
1100AD Chinese Girl China
My mother has been wrapping my feet for three years now, since I turned five. Mom binds my toes inward with a tight, ten foot long piece of cloth. Grandma says that a little foot makes even an ugly woman pretty. I guess that’s why Mom’s feet are only four inches long. I can’t play or walk alone anymore, so I’m busy sewing lily foot, or lotus, slippers with little embroideries.
April 14,1865 President Abraham Lincoln USA
Tonight I am going to a play at the Ford Theater with my wife Mary. I usually wear my carpet slippers around the White House, but tonight I will wear my new boots. Six weeks ago, a German shoe maker gave me a pair of tall black boots that fit my flat size 14 feet. I rather like them. I have a feeling tonight will be a big night!
1800s North Athapaskan Girl USA
Mother finally let me make a real pair of moccasins for my brother today. Now that I’m 10, I’ve been sewing moose skin into a loose sack shape and decorating it with dyed beaver quills. In the winter, the men sometimes go through five pairs a day! I’m learning to repair them. Mom says that if I make nice moccasins, I can marry any hunter in Alaska.
Wow. You really can tell a lot about people by their shoes, can’t you?
The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Romans, probably in the early spring in 57AD. At that time, Emperor Nero – the wearer of the silver sandals – was ruling over Rome and persecuting Christians. It was a scary time to follow Jesus, but people followed Him anyway! The Roman Christians knew that Jesus was the Son of God, come to earth to suffer and die for their sins. They also knew Jesus had risen from the dead and ascended to Heaven. They were expectantly waiting for His return, just as we wait today!
In his letter, Paul wrote: “’Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’”*
You see, it is not our silver sandals, lotus slippers or leather kamiks that make our feet beautiful. Our feet are splendid because of where they go, and who they share the good news of Jesus Christ with! Jesus died for our sins and offers forgiveness for all who believe and follow Him. People can only believe in Jesus if we tell them, and if we send others as well. We better get going; we’ve got some news to bring!
~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.