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Adventist Mission

The Sabbath Shoes

I stood there totally confused. Why won’t she take the shoes today?

A young woman entered the shoe shop where I worked. Something seemed different about her, but it took me a while to figure out that she was wearing no makeup or jewelry. Still, she seemed to glow with a wholesome attractiveness.

I brought out shoes for her to try on, but we didn’t have her size. No problem, I assured her. We could order them and have them within three days. Becky ordered the shoes, and I told her to expect them in by Wednesday afternoon. “That’s great,” she said. “I don’t need them until Saturday.”

The Missing Shoes

Becky returned Wednesday afternoon, but her shoes hadn’t arrived. I apologized for the inconvenience and assured her that they would be in the next day. But when the shipment arrived on Thursday, Becky’s shoes weren’t there. I quickly telephoned the company and the manager explained that the shoes would arrive the next day.

When Becky came to get her shoes, I explained the problem, and she graciously accepted my apology. “I don’t live far,” she said. “I can come tomorrow. You are sure the shoes will arrive tomorrow?” she asked. “I do need them on Saturday morning.”

Late Friday afternoon when Becky arrived, I greeted her with a red face. The shipment had not yet arrived. I urged her to wait a few minutes.“Why do you need the shoes tomorrow?” I asked, trying to delay her departure.

“I’m playing the organ, and my old shoes are rather worn,” she answered. Becky waited a few more minutes, then said she had to go. Although she was very polite, I knew she was disappointed. Just 15 minutes later the driver arrived with her shoes. Quickly I telephoned Becky and told her that her shoes had arrived.

To my surprise, Becky replied, “It’s OK. I’ll pick up them up on Saturday night.”

Strange Refusal

I tried to encourage her to get the shoes that evening, but she declined. Imagine my shock when Becky entered the store a few minutes later. She said she had come to assure me that she was not at all angry that the shoes hadnt’ arrived in time, and she was impressed at my efforts to solve the problem. Then she turned to leave.

“But what about your shoes?” I asked. She said she hadn’t come to pick up the shoes and would return for them Saturday evening. I offered to lend her the money for the shoes, but she smiled and declined.

I stood there totally confused. Why won’t she take the shoes today? I wondered. Suddenly I had to know the answer. I ran out of the store and caught up to Becky. “Please, just tell me why you wouldn’t take the shoes today,” I asked her. “It doesn’t make any sense.”

She hesitated, then said, “I am a Christian.”

“But I’m a Christian too,” I told her. “What does Christianity have to do with your not taking the shoes today?”

“If you are a Christian,” she replied with a smile, “then you know that the Ten Commandments tell us to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. That means we shouldn’t buy, sell, or work on God’s Sabbath day.”

“But it’s only Friday,” I said. “The Sabbath isn’t until Sunday.”

“No,” she smiled again. “The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week, not the first day. Check your calendar.”

I invited her to return with me to the shoe store where I had a calendar on the desk. We walked back to the store, and I pointed to the calendar. “See?” I said confidently. Then I looked again. Saturday was the seventh day, not Sunday. How could I have overlooked this for 25 years? Then I told her, “But today is still Friday. You can still get your shoes.”

An Invitation to Understand

“I’ll still wait to buy the shoes until tomorrow night,” she said. “It is a little more complicated than that, but the Bible explains it quite well. Would you be interested in learning about it? The church event that I will play for tomorrow is a Revelation Seminar presented by a visiting evangelist. He’ll be talking about Bible prophecy, which will include a complete study on the subject of the Sabbath and Sunday. If you’re not afraid to learn the truth from the Bible, I’d like you to come.”

“I’m not afraid,” I said bravely. “As a matter of fact, the book of Revelation is totally confusing, and I’ve never heard anyone even attempt to explain it. Yes, I think I will go.”

The next morning I rode my motorcycle to Becky’s home and followed her family van to church. During the drive I asked myself, What are you doing following strangers to a religious meeting in a church you’ve never even heard of? This could be a boring waste of time, or worse. They might even be a cult! I wrestled with these thoughts for several minutes. I could take the next exit and forget this foolishness.

I asked God to help me decide, and suddenly an overwhelming sense of peace came over me. I decided to attend the seminar. The Bible truths I learned there shocked me, and I spent the next seven years trying to disprove them. How could so many Sundaykeeping people be so wrong? I reasoned. But the more I studied, the more I realized I could not argue against the truths I learned in the Adventist Church. Finally I couldn’t deny the truth any longer. I stopped fighting and became an Adventist.

I praise God for a young woman who refused to compromise her faith and buy the shoes she had wanted so much. Her faith led me to Bible truths I had never heard of, truths which I hold dear today. For that young woman I am eternally grateful.