The shoe fits

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

My husband kept urging me to apply for work at a new grocery store that was being built. (I'd worked at a large food chain earlier in my marriage, and had quit to stay home with our children.) Finally I gave in, just to get him off my back!

I interviewed and was hired. But the store had hired numerous employees, and they seemed to be dropping like flies. The selection was narrowing. After two weeks, I was fired!

At first, I felt free as I walked out the door. But my husband was disappointed. And then I began to feel crushed, as I had never lost a job before. The feeling of being rejected lingered. The fact that I'd previously held a job as a grocery clerk for nine years, and had been rehired twice, seemed immaterial. Now I felt like a failure!

Sometime later as I was shopping there (I kept trying to make myself shop there so I could get over it), I began to reason within myself: "If I think I'm coming into this store 'in my own name,' then I will always feel inadequate - even a failure."

Then these words of Jesus came to me: "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Matt. 23:39). And I felt suddenly free.

Later, the subject of my finding employment resurfaced. My husband had been feeling burdened. He was the sole supporter of the family. This idea came to me: "Love impels good works." That was written by the Monitor's founder, Mary Baker Eddy ("Miscellaneous Writings," pg. 358). Love is synonymous with God. Considering it this way, I was suddenly lifted. I knew I could get work through God's impulsion. I took it as a message from Him.

As the weeks went by, I tried to get myself psyched up to apply at a certain place that had come to thought. But it didn't feel right. Then one day our youngest son needed shoes. And there was a "Help Wanted" sign at the shoe store. I thought of the atmosphere there as being very pleasant. The owners had always struck me as being kind, patient, gentle, loving, wholesome, and good.

My son and I looked at each other.

When I was shown what the job entailed, I couldn't sleep that night! Part of it was consolidating shoe boxes, moving them forward and backward in order to accommodate all the new deliveries - something I didn't find appealing. But within a few days, I accepted an offer, after 25 years of working at home.

Consolidating turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the job! I like to think of it as making room for new ideas. A hymn I like says, "Love's work and Love must fit" ("Christian Science Hymnal," No. 51). Once again, God is Love, and "Love impels good works." OK, then everything we do "in the name of the Lord" has to fit into God's good plan. This approach has proved very helpful for me in successfully fitting people's shoes.

God's work is perfect. And keeping in mind that we are the very likeness of God, we can perfect whatever work we have to do.

The younger employees seemed so adept at the computer, while I was struggling - because I was older, I felt. But my simple prayer recognized that "his [God's] truth endureth to all generations" (Ps. 100:5). This brought the conviction that the ability to do God's work is the same for the younger and the older generations. I began to lose my fear of the computer, and also to really appreciate and enjoy the qualities of God expressed by the younger employees: joy, enthusiasm, freshness, humor. When a new computer came in, I handled the change without undue trepidation.

My job has proved to be a joy. A burden has been lifted from my husband. Our youngest son has helped at home with the cooking, shopping, and cleaning. Our lives have been enhanced. I even got a raise and two weeks off to visit our oldest son and family, after just a few months on the job.

In the beginning, I had tried to resist a message from God. But divine Love led me on, and I was blessed. All the details were in place. What I needed to do was trust and follow.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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