Since I started going on mission trips the summer of my 13th birthday there's one thing I've discovered upon returning. Shortly after returning from a mission trip there is always that one moment where you find yourself in tears. Sometimes it happens while making dinner, other times while you are telling people about your trip, and then there's the times when it comes for some random reason while you are in the middle of doing something. Well I had "that moment" today. But first the background to my moment.
While in Honduras we learned that one of the traditions is to leave your shoes in the village the last day of work. Derek and I decided we would go along with this tradition and as the last few minutes of the work day approached we went to change into our sandals that we left on the bus. I then had Derek hand my shoes to a young girl that was waiting outside our bus. Derek left his shoes for one of the village men who had helped with building the school. It was a great feeling to be able to bless someone with a pair of shoes knowing I could buy new ones at home but this little girl may not get another pair of shoes for quite awhile.
All was well with the shoe giving until this afternoon. I wouldn't say I'm a shoe buying freak but I do like shoes. I decided I would head to a few stores to see if I could find a pair of shoes to replace my shoes I gave away. As I walked down each aisle of different shoes I started to think of all the children in the village who had only one pair of shoes or no shoes at all. Suddenly there I was standing in the middle of the shoe store with tears running down my eyes. Thankfully no one was in the aisle with me or they may have thought I was nuts! I gathered myself back together and walked back to my car. How could I go buy new shoes knowing that I have 3 or 4 (or more) other pairs at home when there are children all over the world who don't have a pair of shoes to wear? Yes, I understand that here in the US we need shoes to get into places and I'm not telling everyone they need to never buy a pair of shoes again.
After a few hours of thought I've decided it's not about the fact that I can't buy new shoes it's the fact that I CAN buy new shoes that I need to be thankful for. I am forever thankful to God and my parents that I have never had to walk around without shoes like so many children of the world have to do.