By Judy Brandon: Religion columnist
We see God’s handiwork in nature but sometimes we don’t think about the affairs of men, women and children being God’s handiwork.
This true story all began with Audrey, a mother of four, who lost the sales receipt to a new pair of shoes that she had bought for her daughter and those shoes did not fit.
In the same metropolitan city, a little second grader lived in an impoverished area. Her single mother felt the pressure of being the breadwinner, disciplinarian, and motivator. She was doing the best she could.
Just last week, the little girl was required to run a mile with her peers to fulfill her physical education credit for the year. The child ran the mile far below the time requirement, but she passed the finish line in distress. Limping and struggling, she was nearly in tears. The teacher came to her and asked her what was wrong.
“My feet are hurting so bad!” she said.
The teacher saw her swollen and bleeding feet as the child attempted to rub them.
“Let’s go show the nurse,” the teacher said and led her to the nurse’s office. Upon examination, the nurse realized the child was running without socks and the nurse told her she always had to wear her shoes with socks to avoid this happening again.
The little girl answered, “I can’t wear socks because they make my shoes too small.” So the nurse measured the child’s shoes against her feet, and she was shocked to see the shoes at least 3 sizes too small. The nurse provided a pair of loaner tennis shoes for her to wear home.
“These shoes are for you to wear until you get some new ones.”
The child loved the white with pink designs shoes. She had seen other girls wearing the same shoes, and she admired them from afar. Proudly she wore the shoes home and even asked her mother if she could sleep with them on. Her mother said she could not. Yet, the child cuddled her new “loaner” shoes in the bed with her.
Little did she realize that the nurse was calling her church to see if there was a benevolent fund for shoes.
“The child wears a size 3 medium width,” the nurse told the secretary. With a chuckle, the secretary responded, “You will not believe this, but you know Audrey in our Bible study … she brought in a pair of size 3 tennis shoes today. You are welcome to those.”
The next morning, the child begged her mother to keep the loaners. Even though the shoes were worn, the bright pink designs made her feel stylish. Reluctantly the child put the shoes in a paper bag and walked back to school in her ill-fitting shoes.
When she arrived at school, the nurse called her aside. “Here is a gift from a woman in my church. It’s a new pair of shoes!”
But the child didn’t want to give up the loaners. Yet with much coaxing from the burse, she opened the box. There was an identical pair of white tennis shoes with pink decorations size 3 medium! Exactly like the loaners! The child picked them up and smelled them. The aroma of new shoes … she was delighted!
Did Audrey know of the child’s needs? No but Audrey had decided that she would donate the shoes and skip the hassle of trying to return them without a receipt. Was this a coincidence?
Jesus said: “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7
That is an example of God’s handiwork in our lives.