It was a very day, so I decided to find my favorite place under the big
oak tree in the front yard. Sitting with my back nestled against the trunk
of the tree, I positioned my head to lean against the bark and peer up
through the limbs. I saw clouds scattered about like single puffs of floating
cotton. Watching the clouds change shapes and using my imagination was
This day the clouds resembled shoes. My thoughts wandered from the
clouds to my need for a new pair of shoes for the coming school year.
Dad worked hard as a pastor of a small country church plus holding down a
part-time job. His pay didn’t go far with a wife and four children to support.
Knowing that, I was reluctant to approach my mom for a new pair of shoes.
Mom and dad were both doing all they could to stretch funds to meet the
family budget, and the budget left no room for shoes.
But, I needed shoes. I could get a job, I thought. No, I’m too young.
No one would hire a child. With only one plan of action, I walked into the
house and found mother sitting at the kitchen table.
“Mom, I need a new pair of shoes,” I blurted out. “These shoes are wearing
out.” My mother looked at me thoughtfully for a moment, then asked, “Are
your knees worn out?” With a stunned look on my face, I looked down at
my knees and replied, “Well, uh, no ma’am, but what does new shoes have
to do with my knees?” Mother had a serious look on her face. “Tammy,”
she said, “your father doesn’t make much money and three other children
must also be cared for, so there’s just not enough money right now for shoes,
I suggest you pray about it.”
That night I knelt in prayer. Not knowing how other people approached
God with a need, I got right to the point. “Dear God, I need a pair of shoes,
not just any shoes, God, but a pair of saddle oxfords, They come in new
colors now, but I’d like the black and white. Thank you, God. You already
know my size, amen.” Then I went to bed trusting God for shoes.
Two weeks later we received a package. My sisters and brother and I
gathered around mother as she opened the package. When she opened the
box I jumped ahead of everyone and searched inside the box until I found
my special shoes–a pair of black and white saddle oxfords. Holding up the
shoes I proclaimed to my sisters, “these are mine, I prayed for them.”
Quickly I tried on the shoes; a perfect fit confirmed my ownership of them.
That was a long time ago, I thought with a sigh. I’m an adult now with
adult problems. My shoulders sagged as I sat on the couch, a problem
weighing on my mind. Sleepless tears trickled down my face and onto my
lap. “What am I going to do?” I sobbed. A familiar voice echoed through my
mind. “Are your knees worn out?”
Drying my tears, I smiled and knelt in prayer, confident that God would
meet the need of this grown-up child just as He had answered the prayer of
a desperate child years ago. A lesson learned but almost forgotten.
Prayer works, ask and you shall receive.