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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Actions Speak Louder than Words" (without using the actual phrase). (02/21/08)

TITLE: Soles for Jesus
By Debbie Wistrom


Sure, Iím scuffed up, but Iím busy and besides I had big shoes to fill after my boss wore out his last pair. I had to prove that I could pull my weight. There was nothing left in his old pair; the laces were ratty and falling apart. The stitches were busting out and his tongue dragged all the time. He said he was ready to quit. He had helped our master reach out to all those people who lived in the park. Our boss is so busy that it doesnít take long for him to wear us out.

After I inflicted the first blisters, we got down to business. During the week we have one mission: " Soles for Jesus.Ē We go door to door to collect slightly used shoes for the homeless and deliver them to the shelter downtown. We spend Saturdays taking food to the homeless. Our main goal there is to get them to the shelter but sometimes we just have to leave it. Independence is important when you are on the street. Our beat takes us to the river and back to downtown.

Sometimes he leaves me at home and takes his shiny pair out of the closet for the day. Thatís ok because I can use the break. Resting from my spot tucked up under the bench, I fill my day loafing about and wondering where he goes. I wonder what other kinds of shoes he sees. One of these days maybe the shiny shoes will be left out at the end of the day and Iíll get to ask him what his masterís business is while Iím at home.

One of my favorite times is when he goes home at lunch and puts us up on the recliner; we both get a chance to relax for a few minutes. He knows it is time to put us up because his dogs start barking. I like it when after a day of slogging through the rain he places me by the stove to dry out. Love that toasty feeling.

When I see bright and shiny shoes, I wonder what their bosses do all day. Do they sit in an office all day? Do they have fancy lunches while we are grabbing a sandwich on the run? Do they ever get a little dirty when they see someone in need? Perfect example approaching: there she is, that pink pair of high heels. So pink, and so loud yet she never says anything worthwhile, just ďLook at me. Arenít I pretty?Ē Yeah they look good, but what good are they? What are those sparkly things for anyway? They canít help their master bring soles to God. Oh, I mean souls: sorry. Yeah, I may not be very presentable, but I have a use. I am worth something. My master knows that he can strap me on and Iíll get the job done. Last week she called me a heel because I wouldnít listen to her story about the fancy party her boss took her to.

My friend, the work boots are busy too and a bit smelly I must say. They have been around the world with our master. He gets to work on building houses in the poor areas of Africa. After they get home from a big trip, we stay up at night and he tells me what he did and how glad he is to be home for a rest. Sometimes I get a bit jealous, but I know what my purpose is and I am glad for it.

I hope that when I have walked enough miles he will give me to that old man who will never come to the shelter for a sandwich. I want to be able to continue to do my masterís work even after Iím worn out. That old guy sure could use a new pair; when he is sleeping on the bench you can see the holes that go all the way through the sole. I know his feet get wet every time it rains. I donít want him to get sick. I would miss him. New shoes would make him happy, donít you agree? Maybe Iíd be able to help him get to the shelter once in awhile.

Well itís back on my toes. We have a van full of shoes to deliver.

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This article has been read 858 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw02/28/08
This is so creative and perfect for the topic. Who would know better than our shoes if we're walking the talk or not. From the play on words in the title to the message at the end, this one is a keeper.
Holly Westefeld02/29/08
I enjoyed the unique POV for this story, and the word play, too.
Joanne Sher 02/29/08
Clever and creative. Love the voice AND the message.
Seema Bagai 03/01/08
Wonderful story. I loved the POV you took in this piece. Creative, engaging, and humourous.
c clemons03/03/08
Personally I don't care for stories with objects being the MC, but it's obvious that you have writing talent. Your skill is evident here, keep writing.
Jan Ackerson 03/03/08
This reminds me of an old Sunday School song--"A Sermon In Shoes." I loved that song, and this was clever.
Lynda Schultz 03/03/08
There is nothing better than a pair of broken-in comfortable shoesóthey are always "in style" and in demand. Good work.
Celeste Ammirata03/04/08
Interesting view on topic. I like the way the shoes tell of his boss's actions. Nicely done.
Beckie Stewart03/05/08
This was unique. I was confused at first, but I figured it out and it was clever indeed.
Joshua Janoski03/05/08
At first I couldn't figure out who the MC was, then it finally clicked, and I thought to myself "Very clever."

I really liked the whole idea of the man's shoes being worn out helping other people get shoes.

Superb writing!
Julie Arduini03/05/08
I love it! Creative and great message to boot! (I couldn't resist...)
Sara Harricharan 03/05/08
This is VERY, VERY creative using the shoe's POV for this piece! I can honestly say that I've never read something like this before. You did great with the bit of humor and especially with the proverb of the week. Nice job! ^_^
Lyn Churchyard03/05/08
Very clever idea! I loved the comment: "He knows it is time to put us up because his dogs start barking." LOL I haven't heard that for a long while. A very unique way of getting the topic across. Well done!
Laury Hubrich 03/06/08
I love this, Debbie! How clever. I've never read a story before from a shoe's point of view! LOL!