When my grandfather died, I brought home a pair of his cowboy boots. I had expectations of wearing them with pride for any and all occasions. I put them on and well …. he had worn them so much, that the soles had molded to the curves of his feet. No matter how determined I was, they hurt too much to wear.
Someone’s shoes are hard to fill. They are also hard to imagine wearing, mostly because we want them to fit. So imaging that I am in the shoes of someone else requires me to let go of my own sense of self and my preferences. That’s difficult to do. I’m not sure I’m fully there yet.
The January 27th Art and Craft of Blogging weekly Writing Challenge from The Daily Press at WordPress.Com is to write from the perspective of being in someone’s shoes. Living in a small town and working in an industry where confidentiality is demanded, I’m choosing to write about someone in history. I recently bought a book called “The Westminster Dictionary of Theologians“. I decided to close my eyes, open the book, and point. My finger landed on Francisco de Encinas (1520-1552). I had never heard of him before.
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It’s harder to breath these days and I’ve found a new boil. They say its the plague. I’m in my mid thirties and facing death … again. At this point I’m struggling to find hope that I will recover. Nothing much to do these days, as I’m too weak to finish the translation … my passion, my calling, my purpose, my vision. I’m so close to finishing it. My people need the Scripture in their language! We’ve fought so hard. I’ve fought so hard.
I feel like Moses who couldn’t enter the promised land. David who couldn’t build the temple. Father, have I fallen short? Have I sinned against You? Is there some reason You are taking me home before I finish? It’s a bitter sweet thought, crossing over into eternity without finishing my race.
I remember when I started this journey. One of 10 kids destined to be wool merchant like my father. Those early years in Spain seem too far away. How did I get here from there? Its miraculous, really.
Miracles. I could use a miracle. I wonder if this is how Christ felt while hanging on the cross? “A esa hora Jesús gritó con fuerza: — ¡Eloí, Eloí! ¿lemá sabaqtaní? (que significa: “Dios mío, Dios mío, ¿por qué me has abandonado?”).” Marcos 15:34 La Palabra.
I’m beginning to sound like David from Psalms. We have so much in common. Where did he get the courage to go up against Goliath in his youth? He was just a shepherd boy. Surely, the Holy Spirit.
That’s how I did it in the Vrunte prison. I was imprisoned for publishing the Scripture in Spanish. Crazy to think the Reformation started before I was born and persecution is still so much a part of my life. I survived a year of torture in that dark place. (I smile) I meditated on the Word and wrote out the translations in my mind. The prison doors opened for Paul and his chains fell off. I escaped. It was just a few years ago, although it seems like a lifetime. I can still smell the horrible stench.
I remember when Diego and I were called away from the family business and into ministry. I miss him so much. It’s been 5 years since his horrible death. I can still see his tortured body and the flames. Our Lord knew you were the stronger one, brother. If you only knew how important your work was and still is. Martin Luther was proud of you, too.
Will my children remember me when I’m gone? Is my wife proud of me? Did she ever truly understand the width and depth of what God called me to do? I think so. She was a religious exile just like me when we met. Oh, how I love her. Maybe this is why we’ve struggled so much, so she could be prepared now.
I can see her and our girls in our publishing house. Finally, a safe place to write and publish. No more traveling from country to country … Spain, Germany, Belgium, England and now France. I like France. My three ladies, in their beautiful dresses, picking lovely flowers and singing hymns. Finally, sleep is upon me. I will wake in eternity.
(Note: His wife Margaret died approximately a month later. )
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Following are contributions from other bloggers in this challenge. These are the pingpacks at the time of my post. For a complete list, see the Shoes Writing Challenge page.