Faith Journal

Shoes of Clay

Written by Sue Harrison

When my brother Bobby and I were kids, we liked to take a shortcut through an empty lot in our neighborhood.  Unfortunately for us, the owner of the lot decided to plow it. Gone was the grass. In its place, furrows of heavy clay curled across our shortcut, and, when rain fell,  the clay congealed into a thick, sticky mess.

One afternoon, Bobby and I asked our mother if we could go play with our friends, Carol and Wayne. She agreed with one stipulation. Don’t walk across the empty lot on the way to their house. I knew exactly what she meant. Don’t get mud on your shoes. I understood completely.

Bobby and I walked across the street. I gazed out at the furrowed lot, studied the ploughed clay. It was totally dry, crumbling and brittle as only clay can be.

Bobby said,”Mom told us…”

I looked at him with the pity of my superior age and knowledge, and I explained, “The clay is dry. We can walk on top of the furrows.”

So we did, or at least we tried to.

 Halfway across, at the point of no return, we were in trouble. On the top, the clay was dry, but under the curled edges of the furrows, the clay was sticky and horrible, and it clung to our shoes in an ever-thickening layer, clay upon clay, until our shoes were encased and even our ankles were under attack.

When we arrived at our friends’ house, Wayne greeted us on the front porch. I can still see his face (one eyebrow up) as he said in his typical understated way, “You guys are gonna be in trouble.”

Yep.

We trudged back home — the long way. We peeled the clay away from our ankles. We wiped our shoes in the grass. We scraped the soles with our fingernails, but the evidence of our crime stuck fast.

Mom met us at the door. The first words out of my mouth were, “But, Mom, I didn’t think the clay was wet…”

That was the problem. I didn’t think.

I didn’t think my mother was right. I didn’t think she knew as much as I did. I questioned her wisdom, and I suffered the consequences, as did my brother and our shoes.

Now, as an adult, I still have a tendency to rely on my own wisdom. God has given us a Book filled with wisdom, but sometimes, for inexplicable reasons, I think know more than He knows, so I go my own way. Only when my shoes are globbed with clay, does it dawn on me that I’ve made a bad decision, that I was wrong and God was right.

On this Mother’s Day and on every day, I am more than grateful to my wonderful mom for her wisdom in large things and in small. Hers is a wisdom from God, and I’m sure of that from the center of my soul. Why? Because, when Mom says no and when God says no, their reasons are grounded in commonsense and founded on love.

No, Sue, because I understand the consequences, and you don’t.

No, Sue, because I don’t want you to be hurt.

No, because I want your life to be beautiful.

No, because I love you all the way to the stars and beyond.

So. Any arguments? Not from me.

About the author

Sue Harrison

BIO: Novelist Sue Harrison is best known for her Alaska trilogies. Her novels, national and international bestsellers, have been published in more than 20 countries in 13 different languages. Her novel Mother Earth Father Sky was named by the American Library Association as a Best Books for Young Adults. Sue lives with her husband in Michigan, but has family here in Nebraska and love Nebraska’s rich history. She is currently writing romantic suspense for the inspirational market. Catch up with Sue on her website and blog – www.sueharrison.com .