A cousin of ours in one of Kentucky's larger cities is a man
with a heart of gold who lives a rough-and-tumble life on his own
terms. "Will" is also an excellent artisan who makes his living
etching glass for partitions in fancy restaurants and banks.
He runs his business from a house near the inner city. Outside
his house he parks a large, old truck and he never bothers to take
the keys out of the ignition. Late one night, Will heard somebody
drive away with his truck.
He ran into the dark too late to catch the thief, and so he
filed a police report. Thinking the thief might not have gone too
far, Will spent the next couple of days driving around nearby
neighborhoods. Sure enough, he spotted his truck parked beside the
curb down a dead-end street. He quickly summoned a police officer
to verify his stolen property.
Inside the cab of the truck, Will found two things: a man's size
4X jacket and a humongous pair of almost-new, hardly worn work
boots, prompting him to make two decisions on the spot.
First, he decided not to prosecute the thief. (After all, Will
had left the keys in the ignition.) Second, since he wasn't going
prosecute, he insisted the officer wouldn't even need to go to the
trouble of knocking on doors, trying to locate the perpetrator.
Will had his truck back, but what was to be done with the jacket
and boots? Giving them to a large-size friend to wear around the
streets of town wouldn't be a favor to a friend if the thief
spotted his jacket. The jacket went to Goodwill, hopefully in
Not long afterward, we happened to be visiting our relatives,
Will's mom and dad, and we mentioned our parish project to supply
shoes for the homeless. The large, almost-new work boots came home
with us and joined the growing pile to be donated to a shelter
after Easter. We feel certain those boots turned out to be a
"perfect fit" for someone in a homeless shelter in Atlanta.
Easter is about trading old lives for new. Our hope is not in
what we do, or who we are, but in the resurrection. Because of
Easter, we trade our old lives for new life in Christ. We walk away
from the empty tomb knowing that Christ, freed from death, has
freed us from death, too.
It seems fitting that boots belonging to a thief found their way
onto the feet of someone without a home. After all, when it comes
to salvation, aren't all of us thieves and homeless? Aren't all of
us trying to steal into heaven walking in the shoes of