Our final series at The Well this semester was called Immersed. James gave four messages about being immersed in grace, the church, God's story, and lastly, the race. James started his talk by talking about shoes. Chacos, ballet slippers, cowboy boots, cleats...These different types of shoes indicate the different types of races we're running. But as believers, ultimately we're running the race of faith, of life in Christ until we're with Jesus in Heaven. And whatever types of shoes we wear, there are ways to make the name of Jesus known.
At the end of the talk we shared the image of the recent Boston Magazine cover. The magazine had asked everyone who ran in the Boston Marathon to donate their running shoes. They formed them into the image of a heart, and in the middle it says We Will Finish The Race.
James asked the students, as a symbol of their commitment to run the race well, to take off their shoes and bring them to the front. As we started worship the stage quickly filled with shoes. But what most students didn't know was that we were taking those same shoes, and attaching them to a frame of a cross that we had made. We attached hundreds of shoes to the cross, and during a prayer took it up on stage. The students could see it as we started singing again, but when we came to a line in the song that said We lift the cross, lift it high, lift it high, the cross was hoisted up so that you could really see it. It was such a neat image - all those shoes, some smelly and dirty - forming the beautiful image of the cross. And when you run the race well, you share the Gospel, and How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! (Romans 10:15)
That Wednesday night was so special, and it was so neat that my last Wednesday with The Well was all about shoes and feet. I don't know if anyone appreciated it quite like I did! And as we as a staff left that night - before I made my last trip from the church to my car at midnight - everyone was a good sport and let me take a foot picture. The first and probably last Well staff foot picture!