I got this in a Forward yesterday, and although I have read it about a thousand times by now, as I am sure we all have, it hit me different yesterday.

I think that I am currently really trying to maintain a role of ‘servant’ in my life… I am trying to squash this insanely disgusting pride of mine and live my life with humility and grace.  IT IS IMPOSSIBLE!  Well, without Jesus it is impossible.  Thank you Jesus for refining me daily so that I may be a better servant to you.


So I share this and pose you this question…  What kind of ‘servant’ are you? 

Would you scrub the toilets in your church if there was a need?  Would you donate time and money and a completely anonymous capacity? (That one is tough for me…)  Would you rub your hubbys feet every night just to ease his burden?  Would you get down on your childs level, admit you are wrong, and ask for forgiveness?

Blessings dear sisters in Christ-




I showered and shaved…
I adjusted my tie. I got there and sat

in a pew just in time. Bowing my head in prayer…

As I closed my eyes. I saw the shoe of the man next to me

Touching my own. I sighed.

With plenty of room on either side…
I thought, ‘Why must our soles touch?’

It bothered me, his shoe touching mine…

But it didn’t bother him much.

A prayer began: ‘Our Father’
I thought, ‘This man with the shoes…has no pride!
They’re dusty, worn, and scratched.

Even worse, there are holes on the side!’

‘Thank You for blessings,’ the prayer went on.
The shoe man said a quiet ‘Amen.’
I tried to focus on the prayer
But my thoughts were on his shoes again.

Aren’t we supposed to look our best
When walking through that door?
‘Well, this certainly isn’t it,’ I thought,

Glancing toward the floor.

Then the prayer was ended
And the songs of praise began.

The shoe man was loud

Sounding proud as he sang.

His voice lifted the rafters
His hands were raised high.

The Lord could surely hear
The shoe man’s voice from the sky.

It was time for the offering
And what I threw in was steep.

I watched as the shoe man reached

into his pockets so deep.

I saw what was pulled out…
what the shoe man put in.

Then I heard a soft ‘clink’
as when silver hits tin.

The sermon really bored me to tears

and that’s no lie.
It was the same for the shoe man

For tears fell from his eyes.

At the end of the service
As is the custom here…

We must greet new visitors
And show them all good cheer.

I felt moved somehow
And wanted to meet the shoe man.

So after the closing prayer
I reached over and shook his hand.

He was old and his skin was dark
And his hair was truly a mess.

But I thanked him for coming

For being our guest.

He said, ‘My names’ Charlie
I’m glad to meet you, my friend.’
There were tears in his eyes

but he had a huge, wide grin.

‘Let me explain,’ he said
Wiping tears from his eyes.

‘I’ve been coming here for months

And you’re the first to say ‘Hi.” ‘

I know that my appearance
‘Is not like all the rest.

‘But I really do try

‘To always look my best.’

‘I always clean and polish my shoes
‘Before my very long walk.

‘But by the time I get here
‘They’re dirty and dusty, like chalk.’

My heart filled with pain
and I swallowed to hide my tears
As he continued to apologize
For daring to sit so near.

He said, ‘When I get here
‘I know I must look a sight.

‘But I thought if I could touch you

‘Then maybe our souls might unite.’

I was silent for a moment
Knowing whatever was said

Would pale in comparison

so I spoke from my heart and not my head.

‘Oh, you’ve touched me,’ I said
‘And taught me, in part;

‘That the best of any man

‘Is what is found in his heart.’

The rest, I thought,
This shoe man will never know.

Like just how thankful I really am…

That his dirty old shoe touched my soul .


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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Yes, this is a great story. How quick we are to make judgements – and how much better when we know the other side!
    Come on over. I won’t make you cry today. Hopefully you’ll laugh. *grin*

  2. Interesting entry. I have never thought of myself as a servant but I guess that I am. I rub my guy’s back and legs every night as he is falling asleep. I am not working right now, and he works long, hard hours to support us. Rubbing his back is the least I can do as a thank you. I have often admitted to my kids that I am wrong…it would just feel wrong to pretend I am right because I am the parent. The donating anonymously is probably the hardest for me. I buy gifts for families through a church program every Christmas…and I would love to see the kid’s reactions to the gifts.
    I guess I do not see it as being a servant because I do these things out of love. Maybe on the days that I feel under-appreciated I feel like a servant. But those days are rare.
    Thanks for writing this….very thought provoking!

  3. Hi Amanda. The family just got back from a very long and exciting weekend and when I got up this morning I was thinking to myself that it has been a long time since I have picked up my bible and give thanks to the Lord for all he has blessed me with. So I got on the computer to catch up on my emails and see whats new in your life and too no disapointment you brought me back to the importance of life here on earth. Amanda, you are such a light to all who know you. Thanks for giving little glimpses into your life. May the Lord bless you and thank you.

  4. Would just like to say a GREAT BIG THANK YOU for posting this. I was reading about your tooth and as I was scrolling down to comment (I hope that tooth socket is better by the way) I stumbled on this poem. I can’t thank you enough. Makes you think ALOT about that person sitting next to you in Church, or in line at the check out, or passing by on the street. Thank you Amanda, for such a touching, eye opening post.

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