Cowboy boots dangled at my side, hanging from a finger looped through each pull—that’s the loop thingy sown to the top of the boot to help pull them on.
“Let’s check the directory.” Roxy pointed at the lighted sign in the middle of the food court.
“Nope. Nothing listed. Maybe I was wrong.” I looked across the mall corridor. “Let’s ask in there.” I pointed at one of those franchise shoe stores.
“Yep, it’s that way—” the shoe store clerk pointed—“straight across from the jewelry store.”
“I knew I saw one in here…there it is, David Clark Shoe Repair.”
A small black man greeted us with a smile so big it lifted his glasses. His hands were calloused leather.
I handed him my boots. The leather soles were worn clean through in the middle, and the heels looked like they’d been filed off at an angle. If those soles were souls, I’d know exactly how they felt.
That’s when I noticed the sign.
JESUS, GRANT THAT I MAY NOT CRITICIZE MY NEIGHBOR UNTIL I HAVE WALKED A MILE IN HIS SHOES
I loved it—and I told him so.
His glasses raised again behind laughing eyes. “What the world needs is more lovin’ Jesus. That would change everything.”
Roxy started reading the other signs taped to the wall behind the counter. They were hand written on simple typing paper—all were encouraging words of wisdom. “Can I take a picture of those?” She asked.
“Sure. Come on back here so you can get closer.”
I picked up his business card, it read:
David Clark Shoe Repair
Repair * Build-up * Modifications
JESUS LOVES YOU
Before we were through we found out he was from where I was born, Muncie Indiana. He’d helped teach about feet at Ball State, where my dad had gone to college. He told us how he invested years caring for his aging parents, and finally moved to Florida to care for the man that had been his mentor. And repairing soles, is the only hobby he’s ever had.
He told us he’d have the soles repaired by early next week.
I can hardly wait ‘cuz there’s just something about him. I’ve got a feeling he repairs, builds-up and modifies more than just the soles on boots.
So, if you ever find yourself soul worn weary, be encouraged because, in the middle of the mall, there’s a simple little shop, and a man with calloused hands and a tender heart that has the answer.
“What the world needs is more lovin’ Jesus. That would change everything.”