She didn't really want to do it. I could tell when I asked her.
I was in charge of the Relief Society birthday party and I wanted the celebration of the founding of our organization to include perspectives of all the different roles of women in the church. So, for the program I asked several women from differing stages and situations in life to speak briefly about their experience in Relief Society.
One of the women I asked is a beautiful single lady who hasn't married or had children yet, but would like the opportunity. Since marriage and raising children are a large part of the practice and teaching of Relief Society I understood her apprehension, but I thought her perspective would be very insightful.
She agreed to do it.
The approach she chose to take was the presentation of an amazing original parable she wrote just for our event. Through humorous metaphor she gave those of us who live more traditional LDS roles a peek into her life and heart. We laughed, we cried and then gave her a roaring applause. It was the hit of the night.
Upon hearing it, I knew there would be many people who would enjoy her perspective and asked permission to share it, which she graciously gave.
Parable of the Red Shoes
Once upon a time there was a great kingdom in the land. In this kingdom children were taught at a very young age, preparing them for the day, and even given blessings at birth that they will be able to have some red shoes. It has been said that, “The most important thing to do in this life is get the red shoes.”
Those who are red shoeless are often comforted by being told that if they don’t have red shoes in this life, due to no fault of their own, it’s OK because they will have the opportunity to get them in the life to come. In fact, in this land there is even a holiday honoring all those who have their red shoes. So, it is apparent in the kingdom that the meaning and purpose of life is connected to having those red shoes.
Now, suppose that you are a member of this kingdom and you have your opportunity to open your packages of shoes. You open yours and they are green. Green shoes take some getting used to, especially when you were expecting red shoes.
Is there anything wrong with green shoes? No, and over time you learn the benefits of and appreciate having green shoes, but you still realize that the meaning and purpose of this life is connected to having the red shoes.
You love all those with red shoes. Your best friends all have red shoes. They are often curious about how you didn’t ever get any red shoes. Your friends are great to offer advice on how to get some red shoes. They often point out some really wonderful red shoes that are available, but they just never seem to fit.
Some of your friends have shiny, new red shoes and some have worn. Over time you realize that not all red shoes are equally desirable. In fact some of the most desirable are those that have been worn and repaired so they stand the test of time. You even discover that some have red shoes that are lost, and some have had their red shoes ripped off their feet and are left shoeless.
You also find that while you admire and sometimes envy the red shoes, those with red shoes often admire your green shoes. Sometimes you just thank heavens for your green shoes! But, still, it is remembered that the ultimate goal is the red shoes.
Now imagine being in the largest worldwide organization that promotes the importance of red shoes, yet you are wearing green shoes. The wonderful thing about this organization is that you are loved and you belong, no matter what shape or color your shoes are. Everyone is welcome in this group. Every member has something to offer the others. In fact, it seems like the more variety, the better it works.
So, you discover that in the kingdom there are a few members who are working hard to understand why they have green shoes and they are learning all they can from the experience knowing that in the end they, too, will live happily ever after.
Thank you again, Shannon S.
Kari Rich is a wife, mother, blogger for hjnews.com and freelance writer/designer who writes about finding the 'funny' in daily life. She believes laughter is the best medicine, which is a good thing since she doesn't have very good health insurance.