What My MisMatched Shoes Taught Me About God

I wore mismatched shoes to the Doctor today. 

It’s taken us a year with the COVID backup and restrictions to establish a base doctor in our new town. I finally had my first visit after months of waiting. I’d done the rigamarole, you know, filling out a million forms, listing all the gross details of my life. Numbering aches and pains. Hospital stays. Babies born. 

All in all my forms are pretty bland. Until I get to the history. 

“Hmmm,” my new doctor, (who is as young as my granddaughter), said. “There is quite a bit of dementia in your family history.” 

Well, yes that is an understatement. It runs a thick cord through generations. 

Throughout this conversation, I sat on her examining table with mismatched shoes on my feet. She made me breathe deeply, measured my blood pressure, checked a few skin moles, and thumped me a bit. She walked back and forth around where my feet swung with their mismatched shoes.

She never said anything about putting on two entirely different shoes to go to my first doctor’s visit with her. She probably didn’t notice. Maybe. I hope not. 

I saw them afterwards. Out shopping, I stared down thinking about something else entirely, and suddenly those shoes came into focus. As did all the places I’d been with them on my feet that day. 

My husband took a picture and sent it to the family. 

Thanks a lot. 

A few years ago my brother visited after several years of us not having seen one another. He’s the big brother, I’m the little squirt sister. Please don’t comment on that. 

The first thing I noticed wasn’t how much he’d aged, but rather his socks didn’t match. 

Being the ever concerned little squirt sister I am, I brought them to his immediate attention. 

Good-naturedly he laughed almost till he cried, in that order I think. 

“I knew you’d see that,” he said. “I ran out of socks traveling. I was hoping you’d miss it.”

I now see the casual bringing up of mismatching can be a slight bit unnerving.  Especially if one is unaware. 

I remember immediately feeling remorse that my brother should even hesitate about wearing mismatched socks because of me, or that he would expect criticism from me. His laughter and grace, on the other hand, was exactly the response I expected from him, which encouraged my without-thought-or-hesitation comment. Because I knew he loved me. Because he knows I love him. 

“…you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, ‘You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off’; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:9-10 ESV

Israel, God’s chosen and loved possession so often lived as incongruously with God’s commands as a pair of mismatched shoes. Yet, how steadfast and loving the Father remained toward them. 

My discordant outward attire reminded me to look within. Is my heart paired in harmony with my God? Are my thoughts and actions mismatched with His? Does my life match up with Christ’s claim on me? 

As I head into the “best is yet to come” years, I have no idea what to expect. I know I will look a bit more carefully into my closet, both the real and figurative ones, and choose with care.

But for now, the laughter of family has died down. It’s too complicated to find another doctor, so I will face her again some day, hopefully with two shoes the same. And in the end, I’m glad a mismatched pair of shoes can remind me of greater truths. 

“I have chosen you and not cast you off.” 

“Fear not, for I am with you.”

be not dismayed, for I am your God.” 

“I will strengthen you.” 

“I will help you.” 

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”


*photos by Philip and Sylvia Schroeder

See my new article at In the Quiver:

The Memories We Make

And recent feature article at Refresh:

The Black Binder



You might also be interested in my articles on Christianity.com:



20 Replies

  1. Marilyn Nutter Reply

    Love the illustrations and taking us to Biblical truths.

  2. Rebecca Powell Reply

    Thanks for laughter and encouragement.

    • Sylvia A Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Rebecca! I appreciate you reading it and responding! Glad it brought you some laughter!

  3. Elizabeth Reply

    Excellently written as always. I so appreciate your perspective on life… especially in light of your desire to grow ever closer to and reflect more the image of your Father. This morning my reading of this post was interrupted by a lengthy discipline issue with a little one and as I returned to finish reading I needed these reminders of truth more than ever. Will take with me today the picture of mismatched shoes and the question of is my heart paired in harmony with His… thank you!

    • Sylvia A Schroeder Reply

      Thanks so much Elizabeth! I know we’ll those interruptions. Appreciate your encouraging words!

  4. Lorraine Mersiowsky Reply

    I bet you have another pair just like them in your closet.
    Matching our heart’s to God’s heart is our most important match. None of the other matches matter for eternity. I always enjoy your blog. Thanks for writing.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Lorraine! I love your statement, “Matching our heart’s to God’s heart is our most important match.” You are right, “none of the other matches matter for eternity.” Love that reminder! Thanks.

  5. Katherine Pasour Reply

    When I first looked at your picture, I just saw your toes–I didn’t even notice that your shoes didn’t match! Maybe the doctor didn’t notice either. But I love the lesson you share with us. I think it’s those “ordinary” (I’m putting mismatched socks and shoes in the ordinary category) that give us great opportunities to gain some wisdom. Thanks for sharing–I received a laugh and some wisdom.

  6. Kathy Reply

    an important lesson-to consider whether our thoughts and life match up with God’s Word. Btw, both shoes were black, so you should get points for that!

  7. Barbara Latta Reply

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that can wear mis-matched shoes or earrings. Thanks for sharing the lesson of how God doesn’t give up on us even when we don’t match.

  8. Katy Kauffman Reply

    I love what you said about our heart being in harmony with God’s. I’m grateful He’s patient when my heart’s desire or impulse is mismatched with His. I’m praying He confirms all of my heart to reflect His own. Thank you for your post!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks so much Katy! I’m honored you enjoyed it. I too want my heart to be in harmony with His. Appreciate so much your response!

  9. Sam Reply

    Thanks for the laugh! I’m sure your doctor has seen far stranger things than mismatched shoes.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Well, you are probably right! Thanks. I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond. Glad it made you laugh!

  10. Diane Callison Reply

    I love your authentic writing & look forward to each one! That happened to me at work once; it was noon before I noticed. The heel height on my shoes wasn’t even the same! I felt like God used that to pair my heart back “in harmony” with Him also. The following week I turned in my resignation. Our growing family of 5 at that time never regretted it. 🙂

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      God works in mysterious ways!! Thanks so much for reading and I am honored to have a mismatched kindred spirit!

  11. Nancy E. Head Reply

    I wore mismatched shoes on two occasions–both times at work, once on the day I received my evaluation.


    Nice post.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Oh my. The day of evaluation? Yup. Humbling! Thanks so much for reading and I love the comment!!