"Hi, Kaylee!" said Lori when Kaylee came to work on a school project and then spend the night. Lori pointed to her friend's feet. ""Look, Mom! Kaylee's new shoes are exactly like mine! Cool!"
The next morning, the girls had to hurry to catch the school bus. "Can I stop at Kaylee's house after school, Mom?" Lori asked. Mom nodded and waved as they left.
When Lori came home that afternoon, she plopped down on the couch. "I'm glad to be home," she declared. "Kaylee's dad wasn't in a very good mood. Her little brother was annoying--she says he's always getting into her stuff. And Kaylee's mom was at work and had left a whole list of chores for her to do." Lori grunted as she took off her shoes. "Besides, my feet hurt. These new shoes rubbed a blister on my heel."
"Maybe they just need to be broken in," said Mom, looking at the label in the shoe. "This is size five and a half! You should have a six. You girls must have worn each other's shoes."
"No wonder my feet hurt!" said Lori. She laughed. "It's like that old proverb that says you should never judge someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. I guess Kaylee and I walked at least that far in each other's shoes today."
Mom smiled. "Yes, you did that literally, and spending time at someone's house is also kind of like walking in that person's shoes. So what did you learn from walking in Kaylee's shoes?"
Lori hesitated. "I've been to her house before, but I never knew what Kaylee has to put up with sometimes," she said at last.
"We're often not aware of problems other people are facing," Mom replied. "That's one reason we should pray for others instead of criticizing them."
"Because God knows what they're going through, right?"
Mom nodded. "Jesus understands our struggles because He's walked in our shoes--He became human and experienced suffering Himself. We need to show others grace like He does."
"I'll pray that things get better for Kaylee," Lori said. "But right now I'm going to call her and see how she liked walking in my shoes. At least the ones she wore were big enough for her!" (Barbara J. Westberg)HOW ABOUT YOU?
Are you quick to criticize others? Maybe you need to walk in their shoes for a while and think about what it would be like to live in their circumstances. Perhaps you’ll learn that they are hurting, and you may have an opportunity to encourage them to talk to Jesus about their troubles. He understands what they’re going through. Don’t judge and criticize them; pray for them.
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: Hebrews 2:18 (KJV)
Because Jesus was tempted as we are and suffered as we do, He understands us and He is able to help us when we are tempted. (NLV)