One Sunday the pastor told the story of two salesmen. They were both sent to a foreign country to try to sell shoes to the natives. The first salesman’s response was that the conditions for selling shoes were terrible; nobody wore them! The second salesman’s response was that the conditions for selling shoes were terrific…because everyone needed them!
In today’s society, there are thousands, if not millions, of barefoot souls. Walking around the cold hard concrete jungle, bare, vulnerable, and bleeding, without the comfort and protection of a relationship with Jesus Christ. And what becomes of these barefoot souls as they encounter the daily scrapes and hardships? They develop callouses to help them cope with the world around them, to help protect them from the hurt and the pain. For a human soul, this is one of the worst things that can happen. However, the Shoe-sheltered Souls known as Christians can change this. The problem is…they often don’t.
Which Salesman Are You?
But why on earth wouldn’t they help? Maybe because they’re thinking with the mentality of the first salesman, the one who saw the need, but didn’t recognize it or didn’t use the opportunity that was so blatantly before him. Perhaps because they see the callouses and feel the rejection of their offer to help and think, “Well, they don’t want shoes so they can just do without them.” But what we should do is look at the world through the eyes of the second salesman, see the need, recognize it, and do something about it. As you go about your daily life, which salesman are you? Do you see the need and leave it? Or do you see the need and feed it?
What if We Gave Them Shoes Anyway?
If we wait to share the gospel at specifically the right moment in the perfect place and to precisely the right person under exactly the right circumstances, we may never share it at all.
Maybe you don’t feel like you could accomplish much if you did, but that’s exactly what Satan wants you to think. The truth is, you could do a lot if you made up your mind to take action and followed it through. Just look at what happened in the book of Acts. When the disciples were gathered together after Jesus’ ascension and they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they began speaking out in different languages and, into the kingdom of Christ, “There were added that day about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:41)
Maybe you feel unqualified to speak out or don’t know what to say, but, with the Holy Spirit speaking for you, you don’t need to worry about that.
Maybe you don’t feel that it’s your place to speak out, but, as a Christian, it’s more than your place, it’s your duty.
As Christians it’s our mission in life to “Go, and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19) And you don’t even have to become a foreign missionary. You can be a missionary in your own backyard and even by doing something so simple as living your faith and letting the world see it by your actions and attitude.
Maybe the people we see everyday, walking around with barefoot souls, don’t seem to want a savior or reject your offers of love and assistance. Now I’m not saying you should cram the gospel down their throat; that’s one of the worst mistakes you can make sometimes. However, when we meet with the calloused souls and the rejections, what if we continued to hold out our hand to them, continued to help them, continued to love them, continued to show, if not tell, the gospel through the way that we live until they’re able to accept the words that we say…what if we gave them shoes anyway?