Boots

IMG_5450

Danner Boots

I arrived at the Achon Auction for the Achon Ugandan Children’s Fund and felt depleted like I did not want to be there, nor did not want to try to talk with anyone. I’d been invited and agreed to come in support of the mission of AUCF and our dear friends.

 

But it had been a stressful, long week, and I was done, over done, like burnt toast.

 

So I walked in, greeted Juli (our friends’ wonderful daughter) at the front desk, greeted Sal and Dave, but still felt bummed to be there. So, I wandered around the event a bit, the tables filled with items I didn’t need or want. There were some boots, but I didn’t want to be there.

 

I went to the toilet, sat in a stall and journaled on my phone. Here’s what I wrote:

 

“Sometimes I feel like I don’t know why I am doing something. I am at the Auchon auction tonight and don’t know why except that I felt for our friends but there’s little chance of me impacting this event.

 

When I am too focused on me that’s hard too. But I look around and feel so um… not certain.  Not defeated. But certainly feel like I don’t have much to offer here.  Like I wish I were someone else.

 

God.  Why have you brought me here?

 

The response came like a breeze into my soul: “To get you a pair of boots child.”

 

“Seriously?”  I responded.

 

“And to bless your Dave and Sally with you.”

 

Tears sprang to my eyes. “With me?”

 

“You know my conversation about learning to be alive and sense you powerfully?  Well could I love that tonight??? Help me enter your realm!”

I said.

 

God:  “Child I love you.”

 

I left that restroom staggered. Jesus had a plan for boots for me? So, I went to look at the silent auction and sure enough there was a pair of boots there. It was a gift certificate for a pair of Danner boots. Just the day before I had been encouraged by Dr. Laura, professor at George Fox and friend of Karen’s to get Danner boots.

 

“They are the best and with great ankle support,” she’d told me.

 

And for the northern route, I wanted ankle support.

 

So, I placed a bid for $170. Sally then got in the act. I told her the story and she was astounded that God spoke like that. God loves people so immensely. I hovered around my boots, but sure enough no one else bid on them. It was the only silent auction item, Sally told me, that only had one bid. God gave me boots.

 

Seriously, Lord?

 

About Camino Way 2016 Shimer

On August 22, 1981 I married this wonderful woman, Karen, who has consistently blessed and changed my life and days. We are still in love, all the more with the years. We have four daughters, two sons by marriage, and three delightful, wonderful grandchildren. So, that makes me a husband, father, and grandfather all in those sentences. But mostly just a guy who loves my family. Today Karen and I planted beautiful plants in numerous pots. She had come home with the plants and that experience reminded me how much I enjoy simple things and simple pleasures -- like digging in dirt to plant a flower, like sunlight through glass on a spring day, like clean windows -- just washed ours today -- like a melody that won't escape from my heart. I've been a local church pastor for 30 years as of this June, a number that staggers me for I feel about that age on the inside, but clearly that's not the case. Back in 1988 I graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary with an Mdiv-- a time of schooling that has been a foundation for years of ministry. But it is mostly in the building upon that foundation, that has most changed my life. I love people, love seeing Jesus work in people's lives. One of my favorite joys is to pray with someone through some horrible place of memory and see Jesus walk right into their memory world, and turn on the lights in a way that sets their soul free and brings healing. There's nothing like this privilege and I have been there to watch it happen more times than I can count. Between 4 and 7 the associate pastor of my family's congregation sexually abused me, first grooming me, then repeatedly violating my young self. This marked my life. It changed my bearings. It ripped at my faith. It wounded my image of what it meant to be a little boy, and later a man. It has been a point from which I have been in the process of healing for many years now. I'm a survivor, but more than that, I am one who lives beyond what was done. For in the middle of all that stuff, Jesus was calling me, speaking to me, bidding me to follow him to bring change to people's lives within the realm of the very office that was used to harm me. Only Jesus can make light from darkness, hope from despair, and healing from brokenness. I love Jesus. He really is alive, no matter what others may believe. And his life, his presence, his words into my world, his healing power have continued to be the foundation point of what it means to experience life to the fullest. I love writing. I don't really know why on that score for really writing has never been a central tool in my world, nor has it come easily. But I love seeing how words released heal. And I love the way words can connect me to other people's worlds. So, that's why I started blogging. It began because I was planning to blog on a weekly basis when I went to walk the Camino de Santiago last fall. And in order to be able to blog while walking, I knew I had to begin to practice blogging before I was in another country. A friend told me that. Friends are good to help us find ways to live more authentically into our daily lives! So, I started. But what I have discovered is there is something powerful about sharing the story of life with others. So, I have continued. And I love the connections being built through those words. In 2011 I experienced my first seminar in Simply the Story, a bible story telling method that involves those listening in discussion and I decided then -- "this is what I plan to do when I retire." But really-- "why wait until then?" -- so I use this method while I continue pastoring. It sets people free and allows the Word to take root in ways that preaching never has. So again and again I am practicing asking questions and that is good practice for me, because I am frequently better at "telling" than "asking." This has been such a freeing gift. I love training others in this skill. So, a storyteller would certainly be true of me too. Years ago I discovered my mission in life is "the joyful transformation of people's lives through the person of Jesus Christ." And that continues to be where I find my home base, in joy. Where there is joy, I find, there is Jesus, and there is the possibility of transformation. Of course Jesus is in places where there is no joy as well, and once He is there, the place kind of changes because of Him. I love that.
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