Between Steps

A SLIPPER AND A PRAYER

A while back a friend gave me a pair of pink flip-flops, comfortable and good quality footwear. We lived in Melbourne at that time so I only used them during summer, but since we moved to Manila, I use them every day. When I go to the market I put them on, when I do my errands I use them. Wherever I go that I can get away with wearing something other than shoes, the slippers are my footwear of choice. Understandably they started to wear out. There were some uneven flowery designs on the sole of the slippers that also provided some sort of traction so I don’t slip when walking. As the soles started to wear out, those flowery designs began to disappear, until I couldn’t see them anymore. The soles were now very smooth.
The footpath, or sidewalk as referred to in Manila, varies depending on the building it is in front of. Some are gravel and coarse, others are tiled and smooth. The tiled surfaces are extra slippery when it rains. One rainy afternoon as I was walking along using my favorite slippers, I absentmindedly stepped onto the tiled portion of the sidewalk when suddenly I felt my foot slipping on the smooth wet surface. For a quick second I thought I was going to fall but manage to hold my balance and steadied myself. It became apparent that the soles of my slippers were now very smooth and it was a risk to use them especially on tiled sidewalks. I needed new footwear. I resolved to buy one on my next visit to the department store.
It just so happen that I went to the department store that week. I need to buy new shoes and I also browsed through the section for sandals and slippers. I chose a pair of flip-flops and was ready to pay for it together with the shoes I found when I hesitated and walked all the way back to the section where I got them to put them back. I went home with the other stuff I bought and didn’t think much about it.
A few weeks passed on another rainy afternoon I was walking, this time on my way to the bank. As I was about to step on a smooth tiled surface I remembered I almost slipped over the last time. So I was walking so slowly that people passing me by were actually looking at me in a funny way (wondering what was wrong with me). My resolve to buy new slippers was stronger this time.
I went to the department store but the style that I wanted to buy was out of stock. I went home thinking that I will go back to the store in the next few days firmly deciding to buy new slippers. But the next few days turned into weeks, because I did not have any instance where I had to walk in smooth wet surfaces again, and buying this footwear sort of ‘slipped’ my mind.
A couple of months before December there were few more occurrences of where I went to the department store to attempt to buy slippers but for some reason or another came home without them. I remembered my “excuses” when I looked at buying – the ones I have are still good to wear, I will wait for a better design, they don’t have my size, wait for something better. It came to the point where I wondered what was wrong with me, why do I keep having these “excuses” every time I am in the store ready to buy the slippers.
December came and we were getting ready to go away for Christmas break. I desperately need to buy some flip-flops as we are going away for holidays and most of the time we will be on the beach. But I got busy with preparing to go away. It again slipped my mind and did not buy them while in Manila.
When we went to Cebu, I actually dragged my husband to a mall to look for slippers. Browsing through the display intent on buying them, I still went home without them. Dejected, I did not find what I wanted.
I was meeting up with the friend who gave me the pink flip-flops years ago. Each year around Christmas she usually gives me something and it had been a different item each time since the slippers. This year she handed me a paper bag which she said was my present. I put it down on the table and we got so busy catching up that I did not open the bag till hours later after she had left.
Guess what the present was? It was a new pair of slippers, just exactly what I wanted!
I rang to tell her that her present was exactly what I needed. She then proceeded to tell me that she had bought the slippers months ago in July, as it was on sale with a considerable discount. She had prayed that I will not buy the same item because she is giving me slippers as a Christmas present!
It’s amazing how God honored her prayer and those “excuses” are actually His gentle prompting when I was about to buy new slippers.
I was amazed and at the same time relieved, I thought there was something wrong with me, why it seems like I intend to buy new slippers but have excuses instead.
I realized that what seemed like my own thoughts are actually that ‘still small voice’ that the bible speaks of, and that He is interested even in the little details of our lives.

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Text & Photos by Alicia Davis

1 thought on “A SLIPPER AND A PRAYER”

  1. What a wonderful answer to prayer, a really good account of the situation from your side and then finding out why. Often we pull ourselves down when something like that happens, but the prayer of another is holding us up before the Lord. Hey great things and it was good that your spirit was listening to the Lord. Causing the forgetfulness or the excuses in the knowledge of the prayer and didn’t want to tell you what was happening, so that the gift was a surprise for you.

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