shoes, or lack thereof…

During college I spent some time in Morocco, studying Arabic. I fell in love with it. It being Arabic the language, Morocco, mosques and Islam. But at the same time, I never wanted to convert to Islam. I suppose I thought about it in an academic sense, but my instinctual response was “Yeah, but if I could believe that ‘Muhammad Rasul Allah’, I would just choose to believe ‘Jesus Loves Me’.” Shortly after I returned from Morocco, I called my best friend and told him “Uh.. don’t hate me, but … I think I want to start going to church next semester.”

This was kinda a big step because for most of the past school year we had spent most of our time together talking about how our different ultraprotestant upbringings had similarly warped our perceptions of religion and Christianity, and how we DID NOT LIKE church.

His response? “REALLY?!?! Because I’ve been thinking about going back to church as well!”  We then decided that we would go to the local Episcopal church when the semester started. I have some side stories about our first attempt and first service that we went to, but I’ve already strayed far from my original point. Moving on…

We did go to the Episcopal church and we liked it a lot. I couldn’t tell you how long we attended before this next part, but it was before Holy Week the following spring. We were at an evening service, I believe. Another university student was there. A ‘cradle episcopalian’ as they say. She, at some point of the service, slipped her flip-flops off and didn’t put them on again before going up to receive communion. While she was walking by, I looked down and saw her bare feet. Something clicked. I don’t know what, though I highly suspect it had something to do with the Islamic influences I had that summer but I thought to myself “Wow. that looks like it feels right.” At some point after that, I stopped wearing shoes during mass.

No one has ever asked me to stop, and I don’t intend to until someone puts forth a reasonable argument against it.


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