“Shoeing” is the act of throwing your shoe at someone in a public context.  The intent of the action is to shame the person as a protest over something shameful they have done.  Shoeing is an ancient practice (Psalm 108:9) which has taken off in modern times.  Since 2008 there have been at least 95 recorded shoeing events against public figures.

Some people shoe leaders to highlight shameful deeds done: Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw both of his shoes at United States President George W. Bush during a December 14, 2008 press conference in Baghdad yelling, in Arabic, “…this is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq …”

Others shoe leaders for shameful acts of negligence: On 7th August 2010 Asif Ali Zardari was targeted by a 50 year old man who threw a shoe at him for enjoying a week-long holiday in Europe, with his family, while Pakistanis suffered the worst flood in 80 years.

We read in the Bible that men were shoed if they did not marry their dead brother’s widow – if she had no son (Deuteronomy 25:5-10).  Refusal to marry was considered shameful; the widow was denied security and an inheritance and the brother’s name was denied redemption.  Marriage here was not for love or convenience but a duty of redemption.

Jesus calls us to make and grow disciples for him.  It is not always easy or convenient, but it is our duty.  We must share our faith in Jesus, offering people an eternal inheritance as well as lifelong security.  Are we deserving of a shoeing?  Shame on us if we deny people salvation by keeping our faith to ourselves.

Denis Oliver