Carolyn Kinsman, 24/05/2017
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CAN YOU SEE YOUR FOOTPRINTS?

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139: 13-14

When you see footprints in the snow, on a beach, in mud, wherever the location, what thoughts and feelings go through you as you as you walk?

For me I see and feel a whole load of thoughts and feelings…

I see paths where folk have walked before me, laying down a path for me to follow in their footsteps. This gives me comfort knowing that this path has been walked before and may be safe to follow. But this is their path.

I wonder to myself if others will follow in my footsteps and a part of me hopes they do. I want to share the amazing things I have done, experienced, the changes in my life, the miracles, the adventures and the places that my faith has taken me.

I take this moment to look at my footwear, UK size 10 trainers. They’re old worn and letting water in, but a part of me and my journey, so I keep them and favour them above other shoes even though they have seen better days (and probably should be put in the bin!).

I wonder what it feels like to be this trainer, with bits falling off, not at its best, dirty and listening to others laugh or comment.

Suddenly I no longer wonder and can relate. Suddenly this is not just a trainer I hold in my hand but my shell and my soul. The voices deafen me and make me question my own worth…

When I walk on the beach and see these footprints I think of the poem Footprints in the Sand. This gives me comfort, knowing God has always been with me. He knew my inner most being, my thoughts, my pain my sadness and he carried me through, even when I could not see that he did. He did not care what kind of trainer I was; whether I was a top brand or not.

Just like how I love my old, battered trainers, Jesus reminds me that no matter how I feel about myself or what others say about me, he still whispers, “I love you” - no ifs or buts!

Suddenly now I see a patch of space that hasn't got footprints in.... dare I make my own set, dare I go off the path? Dare to be different!

My soul screams to be different, to be a trailblazer, a pioneer, for adventure.... fun, wild, dangerous, free, empowered! Have you ever felt that?

I walk around, and I see others and their paths, and wonder where mine is. I can see theirs, yet mine seems unseen to me.

As evangelists, sometimes is can be hard as we yearn to make a difference, to help change lives because we know how changed lives change lives!
I see the light of others and mine can feel so dim in comparison. Have you ever done that - compared yourself to others? Maybe great leaders, coaches, friends, family, people who you look up to. How did that make you feel?

Stop comparing yourself!

The Lord whispers again to me about comparing myself to others and nudges…

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16) *

God wants us to shine and say, “Here I am; this is me” (just like the song This is Me in The Greatest Showman!). For when others see the light in us they will see the light of Jesus!

Steve Simmonds
22 February 2019
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From the age of 2-11 Steve was in foster care until he was adopted by a family. At the age of 18 his life took a direction of crime, homelessness, gangs and cells. At 21, Steve gave his life to God and he joined Church Army after being inspired by Church Army Evangelists. He was commissioned at 26 -  still a young Christian but full of faith ready to change the world. Homelessness and street work have been his passion, as well as reaching young people, those with mental health issues, criminals and gang members. Church Army’s heart of reaching those who don’t know Jesus is still central to his faith as he continues to share faith through words and action, both online and offline.

* If you want to reflect more on these verses, join the Being Salt & Light community over Lent. Sign up to the free weekly emails inspiring and challenging you to share your faith.

Read more blogs

Steve Simmonds, 22/02/2019
Carolyn Kinsman, 24/05/2017