Sheri Wohlfert contemplates what others can learn from the sound of our footsteps. What news do people expect when they hear our footsteps?
I got a video today of my grandson walking behind a push toy. He’s not even 9 months old yet, and I watched and listened to his little footsteps plodding behind that toy cow. As I laughed proudly at his accomplishment, my mind went racing back in time. I’m getting old and my brain can’t always remember the three things I needed to run into the store and grab, but as a mom, there are some events that happened years and years ago that I remember like it was yesterday.
One of those events happened on a snowy January afternoon LOTS of years ago. I had successfully gotten all three little Wohlferts down for a nap and I plunked into the chair with a cup of coffee to just enjoy a few minutes of peace and quiet before I started to tackle the kitchen, which looked somewhat like the aftermath of a tornado. About 15 minutes and one cup of coffee later, I began to feel guilty for just sitting around and I was mustering up the gumption to get to the kitchen when a loud, slow, steady sound began approaching. I remembered being startled and frozen with fear because I could not identify the sound.
I kicked off the blanket, set down my coffee cup, and carefully walked toward the sound. As I peered around the corner, I realized the noise was being made by my 2-year-old son Jason. There he stood in the middle of the kitchen floor, wearing nothing but a diaper and his daddy’s new cowboy boots. The sound was him trying to walk in those boots, which went nearly as high as his diaper. I’m still not sure how he had even hiked his pudgy little legs into those boots and managed to walk at all. I also wondered where his clothes were and how he’d managed to get out of bed and sneak downstairs all the way into our bedroom closet and find the boots.
I’ve listened for the sound of my children’s footsteps for nearly twenty-five years. I listened for footsteps to come into my room in the middle of the night to complain of a sick tummy or sore throat. I’ve listened for the sound of footsteps on Christmas and Easter morning, creeping toward the living room to see what goodies might await them. I’ve listened for the sound of footsteps into the kitchen to ask for food or into the office to ask for help with homework. Probably the most prayerful waiting came at the stage of life when I waited for the sound of footsteps that carried teenagers safely into the house at curfew time. With each sound of footsteps there is emotion. Sometimes it’s excitement or anticipation, sometimes it’s joy and sometimes it’s flat-out sheer relief!
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! (Romans 10:15)
I read this verse in one of my morning prayer books last week and I’ve been preoccupied with the sound of footsteps since then. I remember my mother-in-law (who is the mother of 10) talking about the distinct way each of her kids entered the house late at night. She could identify each of them without even being able to see who had just come home. I think our footsteps say a lot about us. Do we have an angry stomp or a lazy shuffle or are we so frazzled and rushed we nearly run everywhere we go? Sometimes we can even tell by the footsteps what a conversation is going to be like as a person approaches us.
I wonder what my footsteps sound like. I wonder what people expected to hear when they noticed my footsteps approaching. Do they expect good news or whining? Do they expect to be lifted up with something positive or drug down with something negative? I realize it’s a pretty silly little prayer but I found myself asking God to help me make sure my feet were the feet that brought good news! It’s been my challenge this week to make sure that if someone heard me coming they could expect to hear good news: God’s good news of love and compassion and truth.
A seed to plant: Listen to your footsteps. Make it your personal challenge to bring the Good News to three people in the next 24 hours. Ask God to put beauty in your footsteps each morning before your feet even hit the floor.
Blessings on your day!
Copyright 2021 Sheri Wohlfert
Images: Canva Pro
About the Author
Sheri is a Catholic wife, mom, speaker and teacher. She uses her great sense of humor and her deep faith to help others discover the joy of being a child of God. Her roots are in Kansas but her home is in Michigan. The mission of her ministry is to encourage others to look at the simple ways we can all find God doing amazing things smack dab in the middle of the laundry, ball games, farm chores and the hundred other things we manage to cram into a day. Sheri also writes at JoyfulWords.org.