Goggles of Gratefulness

Goggles of Gratefulness

Inspired by the following true story

In 2017, my son, Ethan, and I had the opportunity to travel to Uganda to meet Emmanuel. Emmanuel is the child Ethan sponsors with Compassion International.

Midway through the day we got to meet, play and hang out with Emmanuel, Later in our visit, I could feel Ethan pulling on my shirt trying to get my attention.

He said, "Dad, I want to give him my shoes."
I asked, "You mean some shoes, or the ones you are wearing right now."
He said, "No, my shoes. The ones I am wearing."
I said, "Son, I think that is a an awesome idea. Let's wait til the end of the day and we'll do it."

The end of the day came and Ethan told Emmanuel that he wanted to give him his shoes. Emmanuel's face lit up and they both immediately started untying their shoes as Emmanuel put on Ethan's shoes.

It was an emotional departure as we were all in tears saying our good-bye's and not knowing when we would see each other again.

We made the return trip to the hotel that included walks through mud, dirt, stickers, grass and rocks. Ethan did it without complaining. He never said a word, until the last stop.

"Well dad, I guess I kind of know what it's like to not have shoes." he said. During the week, we saw many children walking barefoot.

Once we got back to the hotel, Ethan laid down onto the bed and began sobbing. I went over and gave him a hug and tried to console him.

"Ethan, what's bothering you? What's wrong?" I said.

After he gathered himself, he said, "Dad, why didn't we do more? Why didn't we bring him more shoes, more clothes, ... we could have done so much more."

We cried together. Then we talked about remembering this trip, remembering what God was doing in his heart right now, and how God wants to use that when he returns back home in Colorado.

About three months after we returned from Uganda, we received an updated photo in the mail from Emmanuel and we were moved to tears again. There was Emmanuel, wearing the shoes Ethan had left for him.

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