This year at Ashland Avenue Baptist Church, we are reminding each other to be where your feet are. In other words, be a fully engaged follower of Christ in the life you actually have. Be personally, emotionally, and intellectually present in the physical place where your feet are. Being a faithful witness of Christ means committing our lives to the reality that where we find ourselves each day is our strategic gospel opportunity. Nobody else can be you—surrendered to Jesus. Below is a testimony from one of our college student about learning this truth.
David E. Prince
By Kaylee Hicks
Isaiah 52:7 says: “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” For me, this verse is associated with a particular moment in time: two summers ago, sitting on a slope in the middle of the Peruvian Andes, looking at the town of Cordova far below my hiking boots. Above me the huge expanse of blue sky poured off in the high distance, and the sun streaked down with unusual clarity. Taking in this impossible view, I was awestruck at how so many souls in this world live in the midst of incredible glory and are blind to it. At this moment that I thought I saw what God meant by beautiful feet, because I had the privilege of sharing the gospel with a few of these people.
But I am ashamed to say that, mixed in with my excitement at God’s plan for the nations, I was congratulating myself on what a good job I’d done in letting him use me. I viewed myself as a crucial part of his plan, minimizing his power and elevating myself to a saving status that was positively heinous in view of Christ’s sacrifice. Like a fool, I was fixed on what my tiny feet had done, not on the enormous God whose good news they brought.
Always faithful, God did not let me stay prideful for long. Three weeks and one enormous dose of culture shock later, I found myself back at the University of Kentucky in the middle of sorority recruitment. In an odd turn of events, I had to trade my comfortable hiking boots in for patent leather pumps, and was pushed farther out of my comfort zone in America than I ever had been in Peru.
Annoyed Instead of Broken
Sorority recruitment is a broken experience, often lacking authenticity or depth. During the two weeks of obsessive preparation and events, I began losing sight of the spiritual priorities I had established that summer, since nearly daily we would work on recruitment events from 6 am to midnight. There was no time for a two-hour devotional like I had in Peru. I was not allowed to skip practices to go to church. And worse yet, I felt completely overwhelmed by the lostness of so many of my sisters around me. So few exhibited signs of salvation even if they were Christian in name. But instead of being brokenhearted over this, I was annoyed that these women could not just get saved and stop acting like fools. I was condescending toward them, not intent on speaking grace or love. Again, my self-centered attitude toward evangelism prevented me from seeking joy for others in Christ.
In the midst of all this, I remember having a late-night conversation with Shailey, my roommate and a strong believer. Exasperated by an earlier chat with other sisters, I unleashed my disgust at the sin in our sorority and my desire to stop everyone from acting so poorly. But thank the Lord for Shailey, who forced me to face up to the fact that I did not love the lost women in our chapter like Jesus called me to. This struck me hard, because its implications reached all the way back to Cordova, even to my professed desire to pursue lifelong missions. God asked me: “Kaylee, do you really love people in this world enough to share My story with them? Or do you love yourself, equally a sinner, too much to be willing to pour out My love?”
The Spirit’s questioning led me to a question of my own: Why are believers’ feet beautiful? Because we bring good news, not condemnation. Because we proclaim peace, not anger. Because we know who reins over the earth – God, not ourselves. By taking me out of the mission field and plopping me into mundane circumstances, God began truly breaking my heart for his beloved. Since this realization I have seen God work mightily in my sorority. In his love he has saved women. In his grace he has set them free from the slavery of alcohol, bad relationships, and materialism. In his mercy and despite my weakness, he has allowed me to lead a chapter Bible Study, spreading the good news that Jesus Christ is Lord and Kaylee Hicks is not. “Being where my feet are,” I realize now, is not usually glamorous, but is so much better. It is supremely joyful. It is deeply peaceful. And it is where God stirs my heart in a passion for others like nothing else I’ve ever known.
Kaylee Hicks is from Versailles, Kentucky. She is a student at the University of Kentucky majoring in International Studies and Pre-Med and is a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Her career aspirations are to serve Christ as a medical missionary. You can watch Kaylee share this testimony here.