How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?
And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
And how are they to preach unless they are sent?
As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
If You Can’t Find the Words, Preach with Your Feet.
We were standing in her ramshackle hut — with the tarp roof — at the top of a hill in Haiti. The bare-footed woman who lived there had no shoes of her own. And in that moment, I knew what I needed to do.
I took off my shoes and gave them to her. I walked out of her village barefoot.
I am telling you this story, not because I’m some kind of hero. The reason I’m telling you this story, is because of what happened next:
When it came time to leave, I balled up my skirt in my fists, and began to walk carefully down the rocky path. It hadn’t occurred to me that my first-world, tender feet would have trouble navigating the path. My feet were accustomed to carpet, not sharp stones. I winced with every step.
Another Haitian woman, seeing my discomfort, stepped out of her home and began to walk ahead of me. With her own, toughened bare feet, she began to kick aside sticks and rocks. She leaned over and picked up thorns with her fingers. The woman stayed several steps ahead of me, clearing a path for me. I can’t begin to tell you how humbling this was.
She never said a word, but with every step she took, I sensed the goodness of Jesus. She couldn’t speak English, so she didn’t have any words for me. But she preached a pretty amazing sermon about servanthood with those hands and feet of hers. She just smiled and kept motioning me to come farther down the path. Walking behind her, I was moved to tears, and a part of me wanted her to stop. I didn’t deserve such care.
How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news! (Romans 10:15)
Whenever I read those words in Romans, I think of that bare-footed woman who made a clear path for me. Her selfless act of love reminds me that we don’t need a lot of money, influence, power, or status to preach the good news. All we need is a willingness to walk the path with other people.
How beautiful are her feet.
Do you want to share Jesus with the world in the coming week? Simply take those beautiful feet of yours and walk the path with others. Serve. Bow low. Give. Offer comfort, even at your own discomfort. Love. With simple acts of service, people will see Jesus alive in you. Your life will preach a sermon, even when your lips aren’t moving.
How beautiful are the feet of friends, who drive their neighbors to chemo.
How beautiful are the feet of foster mothers, who won’t stop praying for God’s unstoppable love to break through.
How beautiful are the feet of nursing-home workers, who care for our elderly brothers and sisters.
How beautiful are the feet of teachers, getting classrooms ready for new students while praying over every desk.
How beautiful are the feet of CEOs, who bring the ethic of Christ into the workplace.
How beautiful are the feet of bloggers and poets and song-writers, who string together Gospel-laced words that help us make sense of the world.
How beautiful are the feet of women everywhere who, in this moment, feel invisible and unseen in their small daily tasks but press on, because this is what God has called them to.
What you are doing matters a great deal, friend. Oh, how beautiful are your feet! It doesn’t matter where those feet have been in the past; what matters is where they’re going today.
When you hear these words – “how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news” – who do you think of?