Culture · On Being Christian

50 degrees, rainy and barefoot

yearwithoutshoes3yearwithoutshoes1When you manage communications at your church, the sight of a news crew in the parking lot can evoke a variety of thoughts. Fortunately for us, today it was all good.

In southern California, ABC TV produces a regular special called “Cool Kids.” And it just so happens that we have some very cool kids at our church, submitted for consideration by an enterprising parent. These high-schoolers have made a commitment to go barefoot for a year. The reason? More than 300 million people in the world don’t have shoes to protect their feet from injury and disease.

These kids have decided to live for a year, without shoes. They admit that here in America it’s not really that big of a deal – “Everything’s paved here anyway, and it’s pretty clean.” But their heart is to improve the lives of others in the world, and they want to demonstrate it tangibly. They’ve built a web page for their cause: OneYearWithoutShoes. When they’re anywhere together, people inevitably ask them why they’re all barefoot. They love to explain, and challenge. They’re arranging “shoe drops” for people to donate shoes, and partnering with missions trips from our church to deliver shoes around the world.

I asked one mom what she really thought when her teenager told her he wasn’t going to wear shoes for a year. She said, “Well, once he explained his reasons, and his heart for it, what could I say? I just told him to make sure his Tetanus shot was up to date.”