Two Inches Closer

"The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to

hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher."

(Thomas Huxley)



Resting on top of the beautiful oak wood casket sat a lovely centerpiece of red roses and a plexiglass box containing a brown pair shoes. Those shoes belonged to Mr. Bob McMahan the owner of a small family business, specializing in making quality mattresses.


One day while stacking bedding supplies at the shop, Bob fell and broke his heel. He hobbled around for months and after recovering from the accident, Mr. McMahan went through countless pairs of shoes, trying to find a fit that didn’t hurt his feet.


Being both practical and industrious he decided to use his trusty pocketknife, along with a little ingenuity, to cut the hurt out of his shoes. He whittled pair after pair, some he cut the ends off and on others he made various kinds of adjustments, all to the amusement of his family. Mr. McMahan dealt with the pain he experienced by cutting away at the part which made life uncomfortable for him. Finally, one Monday he found a perfect pair of platform shoes that made him two inches taller and that fit perfectly. There was a new bounce in his step for three days, just before he had a heart attack and died instantly.


At his funeral, Bob’s shoes were placed on his coffin as a memorial and serve as a great object lesson for the grief, anger, guilt and the loneliness we face in life. Never give in and never give up. Whittle away, with a positive faith in Christ at the things which cause hurt in your life. “Walk with the Lord and you will overcome every adversity that rubs you the wrong way” (Paul). Those shoes remain in the McMahan family as a memorial to Bob’s tenacity and as a reminder that only Christ can heal the painful steps which we must take in our journey through life. Work hard and stand tall, rise up two inches above your pain; two inches closer to God.

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