“Best of…” 2010-a

G. K.

Subject: Pastoral visit in ICU

Date: Feb, 2010


Today I made a pastoral call on a church member who was severely
injured in a car wreck. She was transported to Charleston and was
being stabilized in ICU. I’ve Visited local hospitals barefoot, but
never this one’s ICU. First of all, she’s going to recover but it’s
going to take time. But it was my wife who noticed that I’ve become so
accustomed to my discalced status I really don’t have second thoughts about walking into anyplace barefoot. I realize the clerical collar may have something to do with it, but i also believe if you carry
yourself properly, not timid nor arrogant, and folks can see the real
you, what you are wearing or not wearing really doesn’t matter.

I am fortunate to be in a position where I can be barefoot all the
time. I guess for me its just “normal” for me to always be unshod. My
wife is the one who noted today’s experience (she went with me) and
pointed out the parishioner in the hospital bed expected me to be
barefoot. These folks in my parish have never seen me wearing shoes.
Folks in our town haven’t either. But a hospital staff in another
city…well I guess I’ve come to fully accept myself as I am; barefoot.

We also stopped at a mall In downtown Charleston, did a small bit of
shopping, dined in their food court, stopped in Cokesbury and dropped in at the Presbytery offices. All without incident, just the way it should be.

I am indeed fortunate to be the barefoot preacher and live in a
community where, as some others have stated, people are accustomed to seeing me only barefoot doing all the duties of a Presbyterian minister as well as going about my everyday business.

G., the barefoot preacher from West Virginia