Flip flop has many names in different places. Some call it ‘Charliewote’ which means lets go Charles. As it easy to grab and put on quickly compared to the slow process action of wearing, socks, shoes and tying them onto feet in hot countries. Flip flop is flat and easier to wear so more conducive to sandy beaches. Sand enters shoes constantly so must be taken off to empty sand for comfort. Sand swallows high heels as Chloe Kardashian found out on American TV reality show. So this appropriate gift suitable for sand is an amazing picture which touches many hearts, due to many factors. She is surprised by the unexpected generosity of a kind man to her in this image. First of all the man feels touched to take off his sandals to give it to a young woman. Out of compassion more than guilt so this is impressive. As some communities require the adult to have priority need provided due to age, respect and honour. The sunshine can be so hot sometimes it feels like one’s feet is in an oven. Songs and dances are made of flip flop as The Flying Chanclas (flipflops in Spanish) ambition aims for souls. The Flying Chanclas smattering other Christians ”invaded” Santa Maria, CA, small town near coast, pass flyers, do concert in evening to get people saved.
In an age where droves are crowding churches, so big so called “mega,” others in small churches do more than sit to watch professionals deliver Emmy quality ministry. They get involved in practical action performance to save souls. Putting total trust and confidence only in sponsoring church with money and material resources is not enough. Instead, active involvement in soul winning is required on a daily basis. Flip flops, things and mega structures pass away, but the soul is eternal above all things so God wants souls. So, the sacrifice to give flip flop to a woman by a man is another dimension to the story. This action of a nice gentleman bowing to put flip flop on a haggard poor looking woman’s feet is unusual. The woman is still standing unresponsive to request so towers over him in irony in tears. Too overwhelmed to jump at this once in a life opportunity perhaps to grab flip flops onto her feet. She seems to adapt to shoe – less lifestyle over the years, so was not looking for shoes. Already accustomed to life without shoes, probably did not accept the kind offer of flip flop? In addition, there is possibility the man has another pair to replace one given away. Yet may still walk barefooted in the hot sun lasting for a few minutes or hours until he buys a new flip flop to replace one given away.
He empathised woman so joined walking in her shoe-less lifestyle. So you can DO something more than just applaud. Christ said whoever does acts of kindness to the least unable to pay back, has done it to Him. This flip flop story is so interesting it is a metaphor of the interaction of haves and have nots. The have pity and feel sorry for have nots or loath them as an eye sore in their pristine neighbourhood. But like nectar in flowers attract bees so does the poor have nots work as servants, cleaners, dog walkers, drivers, house keepers and domestic servants flock to work for the haves them. of oth The receiver is overwhelmed by this generosity is overcome by tears of joy. It is also possible this could be her first sandals ever. If so, it is a treasured gift she will always remember as her story has touched many lives all over the world. It is nice to see acts of random kindness like this, in this day and age. Also, her clothing and demeanour might tell a story of her circumstances. Perhaps has mental health problem so needs support? Whatever her situation an action like this will certainly lift up her spirit to feel valued. Another dimension to this story is the inter – racial dynamic played out by this picture. Often it is the other way round for the privileged haves depriving the poor have nots. Yet, here in this flip flop story although may not seem privileged, is willing to share the one precious flip flop available for personal use in the moment in the here and now. He could wear his own, run to a local store and buy one for her if he could afford it. What happens in future after those shoes wear out, God knows and will surely provide for her again. Those who walk bare footed over time develop a natural hard sole. This serves as inbuilt shoes so protects feet to some extent. Though not the best preference if one had a choice. Billions of people all over the world still walk bare footed. Some wear one luxury expensive designer shoe once like Missy Elliot among other fabulously wealthy rich throw away culture according to TV gossip columns. Others, look through numerous shoes in the closet like Imelda Marcos Museum in Manilla, Philippines. But still complain of having no shoes to wear. Be thankful and grateful to have a few pairs or feet to put shoes on. Some bare feet walkers keep a pair or two shoes for only special occasions like church, parties, weddings and funerals etc. They wipe it clean and put it back in safe storage for next use. It is passed on to next generation family members or poor.
A story is told of a family whose beloved son gave them shoes from abroad while studying there. After, wearing the shoes for a few years on special occasions, they suddenly stopped wearing the shoes. Some of them reverted back to walking bare footed for the rest of their lives. When asked why, it turned out their son passed into heaven. As the precious shoes reminded them of their son, they refused to wear them again.When asked why not, they replied, they did not want to feel comfortable while privileged to be alive. Without the joy their son brought them while alive, each weekend they met to spend time together. They were too sad to wear those beautiful shoes any more. For their sorrow, they kept those nice shoes nice neatly packed away and never wore them again. Today whatever your lot, whether it is a loved one not around this Christmas or other issues making you feel sad, God is still on the throne. It is good to thank God for His Grace and Mercy daily for whatever side of the fences one lives on. Many simple material blessings some may take for granted can mean so much to others lacking them. Yet a pair of flip flop shoes tell a story to make a difference in the world.
Coutesy: Image Credit
Imelda Marcos Museum