Why don’t I wear shoes onstage?
Great question! It’s one that I get asked quite often. As one of the pastors at a large church, there are thousands of people who see me every single weekend, and have never seen me with shoes on! No hipster boots, no classy converse, no strange Jesus chanclas, NOTHING! Just my naked feet. I wanted to be called “The Naked-Foot Pastor” but it seemed a little controversial…
So back to your question: why no shoes? Well, if I answered that at this point in the BLOG, it would be a really short post. And you’re already here so lets cover some other topics first! Like:
- Do my feet get super dirty? (yes)
- Do I really get weekly pedicures? (I’ll never tell)
- Have I ever been a professional foot model? (semi-pro)
People always seemed shocked when we run into each other in Target and I am wearing shoes. Which leads me to wonder… Can you go into Target without shoes??
A lot of people seem to hope for a super spiritual reason for being “The Barefoot Pastor” (a nickname I have embraced but, want to point out, did not coin). I feel pressure to say something about Moses removing his sandals, and being on hallowed ground, and then my mind starts to wander about what “hallowed” means and if it has anything to do with Halloween and before long I can’t even remember the question I was asked…..
Oh ya! Why do I go barefoot? Unfortunately it isn’t because I am a super-christian, or a hippy, or an environmentalist. I’m not protesting sweat-shops, even though I probably should be. I don’t have awkwardly wide-set feet that are uncomfortable in sneakers. The rumor that my feet are so white that I can’t tell them apart from my socks is only partly true. I didn’t lose a bet and I’m not holding out for a sponsorship from a major shoe brand, (even though if I got one I would rock shoes on stage every weekend….shallow but honest).
So here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for, (and by all, I mean the three people who decided to read this far). I go barefoot because **drum roll**
Well, that was a let down. So let me make a loosely connected spiritual application so we can all feel like this BLOG was worth our time… I have two sons. Lane is 10 and Paxton is 5. Even at such young ages they are already feeling the immense pressures to fit in and be cool. They want to wear the cool brands, and match up with the latest fashions. I observe them exchanging their own style and their own comfort in order to increase the likelihood of acceptance from their peers.
THIS PISSES ME OFF! My anger is not at my sweet little angel-babies! It’s at the culture that is putting pressure on them before they are even old enough to know how to fight it. I go barefoot because I like being barefoot. I wear white v-necks almost every single day because I like them and they’re comfortable, (and because when you’re as pale as me, wearing white makes you look less transparent)! I want to show my boys that God accepts you exactly how you are! If you want to wear socks with sandals because it is a nice, casual winter option – then you wear them!
I want my boys to find their identity in who they are in Christ – not in people’s opinions. I have been told that preaching barefoot is irreverent, disgusting, distracting, and unsanitary. And at least most of those are just not true! I will be barefoot every day that I want until I decide not to be. Because God doesn’t look at the feet of a man but at his heart. I’m confident my boys will get that some day, and I will be the proudest barefoot parent you’ve ever seen!