'Red Shoes'

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

My mentor in preaching, Dr. Fred Craddock, died of complications due to Parkinson’s disease in 2015.  I believe Dr. Craddock was the greatest preacher and storyteller of recent generations.  Here is one of his works of art that still speaks to my heart…maybe yours too.

“I have a student who, for eight years, taught in a school in Nashville, Tennessee, for children with hearing disorders.  Their ears were all right; they just didn’t make contact.  He said that after eight years, “I just could not stand it anymore.  I went home crying; I went to work crying.”  He said, “One year, right after Thanksgiving holiday; there was this beautiful girl in the school.  Heather was her name.  She was seven years old.  We were out on the playground just after our Thanksgiving holiday.  I went over to Heather, took her by the shoulders, squatted down in front of her, and said, ‘Heather?  Heather, what did you eat for Thanksgiving?’

          “Heather said, ‘My shoes are red.’
          He said to me, “I just couldn’t do it anymore.”

I didn’t have the heart to tell him that he’s going to have experiences pretty close to that.  I was in Dallas, Texas in a service in which the music, the anthem, the prayers, the songs, everything gelled, and in the sermon, everything was just right.  I was in the presence of God.  Standing there after the benediction, I didn’t want to move.  I was immobilized by the presence of God in the service.  Just a guest.  A man in the pew in front of me—he didn’t know me, I didn’t know him—turned around and said, “Do you think Tom Landry’s going to coach the Cowboy’s another year?” 

Do you know what that man said to me?
The man said, ‘My shoes are red.’
(Craddock Stories, P. 27)

Jesus said it this way… “Let those who have ears to hear, listen!”

Always Thinking…

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