Barefoot Cobbler


Daniel J. Miller

Spacer There once lived a barefoot cobbler, a master artisan, who provided both prince and pauper with the gift of shoes...

Spacer ...within his tiny workshop could be found all sizes, shapes and styles of handcrafted footwear...perfection for every occasion. And never a penny was taken, as the shoes were a sacred gift to all...the cobbler's labor of Love, that those in all walks of Life might freely exchange the shoes that had become too small or worn for yet another perfect pair.

Spacer Season after season passed as the multitudes happily traded old for new and always did the cobbler give to them just the right shoe to wear, though he remained, himself, shoeless. And it came to pass that a young man with crippled feet came into the cobbler's shop in hopes of finding a pair of shoes that would fit his mangled feet. The cobbler's heart was overwhelmed with compassion for the strugglings of this youth and tenderly did he sit him down and with his own tears did the cobbler bathe the deformity of his feet and placed upon them the shoes of a perfect fit. The young man was elated for at long last he could walk without his pain and he asked of the cobbler how he knew which shoes were to be his and why it was that the one who fashioned the footwear for others remained, himself, shoeless?

Spacer And the cobbler answered with a smile:

Spacer "The shoes in this humble shop contain the mystery of Life, and here can be found the perfect fit for every sole. In truth, these shoes are naught but our own beliefs, convictions, dogmas and rites which clothe our understanding while walking upon our chosen path through Life.
Spacer Each one that comes into this shop is seeking the secret of Eternal Truth, but each must be given their own unique footwear... wear a shoe too large for your own understanding will cause you to stumble and fall; to wear a shoe that is too small will bind the feet and wither or deform your own understanding of Truth. Some forget the purpose of their shoes and become enchanted with only the beauty that adorns their feet and proudly do they strut for all to admire.
Spacer And sadly, there are those who come to love their shoes more than the feet that abide therein and they would cling to their old worn out soles, declaring its suffering to be a virtue. Aye, there is a shoe to be found here for every need and when those needs have been fulfilled, your understanding will then travel barefoot and unencumbered; for in that day shall you tread upon Holy Ground."

Spacer Hearing these words stirred the hidden depths of the youth's heart and bravely did he hand back to the cobbler his gift of shoes. And in that instant was the youth healed and the cobbler spoke:
Spacer "Behold, the feet of Perfect Understanding."

Daniel J. Miller

Copyright 1996

The Prophet's Candle/The Whispering Wind