Wednesday, March 16, 2005

A Celebration of Dancing Shoes

There are at least three thrift stores within a one-mile radius of our home. I randomly pulled into one of them on the way home from working out this morning. Even as I was parking my car two spaces away from the door, I was asking myself what I was doing there. "I don't really need anything," I tried to tell myself. But as I was already parked and out of the car, "Aw, what the hey."

This particular shop is run by a church I think because there's always a Bible verse on the white board in the entryway, and the music they play is usually a flute or clarinet version of a classic hymn or worship song from the eighties. I found a pretty blue cable-knit cardigan sweater, a long polka-dotted scarf to use as a belt, and a much-needed set of white embroidered sheets. Amazing Grace started trickling from the speaker overhead. This time, there were words, too. I hadn't realized it, though, until a thick female voice from the next aisle entered at the second phrase. "....that saved a wretch like me!"

The voice was coming from the shoe aisle. I continued to look at handbags and suitcases because I didn't want my huge grin to make her self-conscious. Well, actually, I just didn't want her to stop. She sounded like a woman who knew what she was singing, and her voice seemed to fill the store, though no one else seemed to notice her. I decided to brave the shoe aisle. My eyes began the up-down-left-right scan of the cubbied pairs of dress shoes, and I almost missed them. Black strapped heels. "Wait, are those...." They were. Black character shoes--dancing shoes.

Now, this moment would hold a lot more significance for you, the reader, if I had informed you at an earlier time of my quest for dancing shoes. I haven't needed them like I need hummus or a good book or a budget. But the swingdancing, though lately intermittent, has been nearly a Sunday night habit. Three weeks ago, Holli, Katie, and I took a six-hour class on a Saturday morning. Yes. Six hours. The shoes I have work, but I kept thinking how nice it would be to have a good pair of character shoes.

"Only a dollar? I knew there was a reason I came in here," I thought out loud.

"Yes, hon, there is always a reason," the singing woman was looking right at the dancing shoes that were now on my feet and fit perfectly. "God is . . . He knows what He's doin. And them are some nice dancin shoes, mm-hmm."

"Let it Be" began to play as we walked toward the counter to pay for our finds.

And when the night is cloudy,
There is still a light that shines on me,
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music
Mother mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
There will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be,
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

God is . . . He does know what He's doing. A random stop at a thrift store, and He spoke to me through a singing stranger. And some nice dancin shoes.

1 comment:

kitkat said...

What a great story. I would love to take a swing dancing class, and six hours sounds like a good workout. Serendipity, baby.