My Black Shoes

 I hate these shoes and finally after almost thirty years of being their owner, they will be thrown into the garbage today. They were a very comfortable shoe, which was a rare thing for me. Probably 99% of my shoes during my Amish years pinched my toes or rubbed my heals raw.  But not this pair.

  In the late 1980's I bought this pair of Peaks shoes, soon after they came on the market.
I was living at Aylmer Ontario at that time. I moved to Aylmer because they were very consistently strict Amish with high moral standards. The shoes had to be black all over, so I took shoe black and blackened the little red "PEAKS" trademark. I guarded these shoes carefully. I never told anybody I had them because they were not quite the normal shoe most everybody wore. I couldn't wear normal adult shoes, so I never wore the normal shoe. I would spend up to two years looking for a shoe I can wear that fits without pinching and rubbing. I kept quiet and wore my shoes until the preachers or church forbade us to wear sports shoes. We had to get rid of them in no uncertain terms. Period! 

The reason was because some boys from one family made a great show of wearing Reebok shoes. Their Reebok shoes, the way they wore them showed signs of pride and rebellion. So the easiest solution was to tell the congregation to get rid of all such shoes. There were a few like myself who quietly wore these shoes and without notice. One man wore them because it fixed his back pain. I wore them because they were comfortable and black, they had four holes and didn't pinch my toes or rub my heals. 

I burned in resentment at this stupid church rule because of those prideful, rebellious boys. I quit wearing the shoes but I didn't get rid of them. I decided to keep them hidden until I find another pair of shoes I can comfortably wear. 

When I moved from Aylmer to Cookeville I had the liberty to wear them again. But whenever I wore them I felt guilt and condemnation. I moved from Cookeville and went Charity/Mennonite and took these stupid shoes with me because they were not worn out and maybe someday I will need them. 

They, the shoes followed me to Florida. Today found them while cleaning out another corner. I looked at them and all that hidden anger and resentment surfaced again. I vented, as that is the best and quickest way to rid myself of past hurts.

Good-bye shoes and the dirt stuck in the sole/soul.


  1. Hello Katie.

    I do not wear shoes walking on the path of Christ.
    Leaving the Lord guided my steps.
    A soon

  2. Ummm, wasn't it pride and rebellion for you to go against church standards, even the same pride and rebellious spirit that was exhibited by those young boys??? Sure, they did it to be modern and worldly, yours were black, but it was still against Ordnung and doing your thing as opposed to showing humility and accepting the standards of the church you voluntarily joined because they had "high moral standards"--which might include the type of clothing they would accept, correct??? As a Christian, instead of "venting", shouldn't you be "repenting"?? A concerned brother, Leon Moyer email address:

  3. Now I understand why they are thirty years old. I thought wow! Her shoes dont wear out fast! But you werent wearing them all that time. I trust that you now understand you didnt need to feel guilty. I really enjoy your pictures! Mary Stutzman

  4. Praise God for the freedom in Jesus' He's shown you and given you the grace to now live.

    Since Katie is no longer under those church standards made by man, not God, venting is a means of dealing with the shame and hurt those standards put upon her, and I'm thankful God has given us such means to be able to move on into the healing He has for us. Katie, I'm inspired by the strength and grace God has given you. Colossians 2:20-23

    Blessings in Jesus,

  5. It seems that if a local Amish church can turn what was OK yesterday into sin tomorrow, then it must be that they also have the power to cancel sin so it no longer is sin. That is more than I can buy into, because the law of Moses (Deuteronomy 4:2) forbade the adding of anything to what was given. When I point things like that out, they will say that they don't go too much by the Old Testament. But then I expect you have heard all that before.
    By the way, I love your pictures.

  6. In the words of Forrest Gump, "Those look like comfortable shoes."
    Oh Katie, aren't you glad you don't have to work your way to Heaven anymore? May you never again be shamed for being honest. God delights in you and is absolutely crazy about you. The fact that you covered the red name on your black shoes just shows how humble you were and how smart for keeping a pair of comfortable shoes.
    May God bless those that live under a blanket of shame. If only they knew how they were loved, warts and all.

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