I am not referring to the actual shoe size but instead, your capacity to stand in someone else's shoes.
Recently, I have been taking notice of people's interaction with me and have been unpleasantly surprised at how few people are actually interested in me. Now that sounds totally narcissistic so let me explain. I can think of three recent instances where I have asked a person a question - eg 'how are you enjoying the Whitsundays?' and instead of an answer which can be discussed, they have proceeded to tell me about people and places which are not at all relevant to me. They have physically been here in the Whitsundays but their mind/attention is still in their own world - their comfort zone. And that set me thinking!
When Jesus visited his good friends Mary and Martha, Mary remained with Jesus to chat and learn, while Martha became hot under the collar, preparing a meal all by herself. There was no microwave nor instant oven or stove top, so it would have been a time consuming task to prepare a tasty meal, and Martha was well known for her hospitality. Martha was doing her best for Jesus, or so she thought, but he rebuked her for this. Wasn't that just a bit unfair? Martha was sincere in wanting to serve Jesus a proper meal, but in this instance, she was sincerely wrong. Why?
Let's stand in Jesus' 'shoes'.
Mary and Martha probably didn't know at this stage that Jesus would only be on this earth for 3 years, so didn't realise the urgency in spending as much time with him as they could. Jesus was reaching out to them and although we do not have a record of the conversation, I am sure it wasn't about the weather! I would assume Jesus wanted to teach them as much as possible about his role as the Messiah and what that would mean for them as his followers yet Martha could not see past her own thoughts and ideas to appreciate why Jesus came to visit. Martha could not 'walk in Jesus' shoes' as the saying goes. Instead, she was caught up in her world and her own capable role and was probably not in the habit of seeing things from another person's point of view.
I have always been aware of asking people about themselves, but since thinking more about this issue, I am even more aware of 'standing in their shoes'. It is interesting what worthwhile conversations can be had when we stop and listen to what the other person is actually saying. Listening to what Jesus has to say can be another experience again!