This morning we discussed Jesus sending out his disciples with instructions to take only a staff, one cloak and sandals. In Luke it could be two pair of sandals or none. Go barefoot. Naturally, we got diverted into talking about going barefoot in the summer. Larry and I grew up on farms in Missouri and Wisconsin and we both remembered going barefoot in the summer except for church and going to town. I’m barefoot even as I write this.
Usually our bare footedness started with the close of the school year. However, earlier in the Spring we had to clean up the manure pile which grew in the barnyard in the winter. However, our boots often got stuck in the muck. Thus, we would to take off our boots and load the spreader standing in the still icy ground barefoot. Feet are easily washed. This is not necessarily a pleasant memory.
As the days progressed, tender feet began to toughen up and we could walk on the gravel road, and with a slide step tread through hay and oat stubble. A person did have to lookout for thistles. One of the drawbacks was riding bicycle. Often our old bikes only had the steel rod on which the pedal could be fastened. Feet were never tough enough for pedaling with the steel rod.
In 1953 our Happy Pipers 4-H softball team played barefoot. We reached the semifinals of the Polk County playoffs. The next year we put on shoes and won the championship.
These days I’m careful going out barefoot, being a diabetic. But its good to feel the soft grass beneath my feet occasionally. Of course, sandals are almost as good, which is what I wore to church this morning to teach the class. I felt like a disciple.