July 19th was the end of my challenge of going barefoot for 1 year. When I woke up that day I was truly excited about finally putting on a pair of shoes. Actually, I was thrilled about putting on a pair of socks! I sat on the edge of my bed (socks in hand) and was ready to feel the warmth and softness of those socks around my very calloused feet. I stretched them a little, brought them towards my feet and then something very strange happened. I couldn’t get them past my toes! “What the…” I thought. With a little more determination I tried again. You can choose to believe this or not, but this is exactly what happened. It was as if there was a force (an angel perhaps), pulling the sock in the other direction – away from my feet! It wasn’t anything you could see – but I certainly could feel it. I thought, “What the heck is going on?” I literally began to weep – and pray. I cried out, “God, I don’t understand what’s happening?” I then began to see the feet of the children who motivated me to begin my barefoot journey in the first place. I was reminded – they’re still out there – along with millions of others. Barefoot children at high risk of being taken by the traffickers and forced into horrific life of the child sex trade. I began to weep again.
I put the socks down and had a serious conversation with God. As I was reminded of the past year, I thought of the many people who would say something to me about being barefoot (especially during the winters in Colorado). Some were pleasant – some were rude. I also remembered the articles that were written and the many people who contacted me about wanting to help me in the rescue of children from the brothels.
When Gail (my precious wife) awoke and asked me about wearing shoes again, this was my response. “Gail, I’ve made a decision to keep going barefoot. Not only will I go barefoot, but I’m going completely barefoot. I won’t even wear sandals.” She was a bit shocked and asked why. I said, “During the past year there were many times that people responded to me being barefoot in a way that helped me share the plight of the children we are trying to rescue. Some responded in a way that helped our rescue efforts. Gail, if during the next year my being totally barefoot motivates even one person to action and it helps me rescue just one more child; I would go barefoot the rest of my life.”
Although she may disagree with my method, she knows my motivation and understands my decision. I hope you do too. As of this writing, I have been barefoot for 475 days. Will I ever wear shoes again? I sincerely don’t know. I’m certainly not looking forward to this winter in Colorado as there have already been several days where I had to walk in the snow (I’m as cautious as possible). As long as I feel called to do this, I will not compromise. I’m sure many disagree with what I’m doing and that’s okay. Until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes (oops, I mean feet), all I ask is that you respect my decision and try to understand why I’m doing this. If you don’t, then maybe one day we can meet and have a heart-to-heart talk. While standing outside with my 12 year old grandson Izac, he noticed that I was experiencing some pain from the cold. He said to me: “Papa, why don’t you just put on a pair of socks?” I said, “Izac, I can’t do that. The children I am doing this for can’t cover up their pain, so neither will I. Do you understand?” He did.
When I experience a little pain it reminds me why I’ve decided to go barefoot. It’s not only to share the message of the horrors of the child sex trade, but as a show of solidarity and a way for me to relate to these children in a small way.
What about you? I’m not saying you have to go barefoot, but I do challenge you to do something to help in the rescue of children who are experiencing a life of unspeakable terror and pain that most people cannot possibly fathom. Will you accept my challenge to get involved? I promise you this – if you do something to help get a child out of a brothel and see them go from a life of hopelessness into a life of JOY – it will give you a feeling of accomplishment and significance that is indescribable. If you want to do something but have no ideas – contact me and our team will put together some ideas to help you.
Whether you help raise funds or bring awareness to this horrendous crime against children – do something. The decision you make can literally help bring a child out of a life of horror and into a Safe Haven filled with security, joy and true love.
Dr. Jeff Brodsky
“No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his well-being, to risk his body, to risk his life, in a great cause. “ ~ Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)
“One hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove…but the world may be a better place because I was important in the life of a child.” ~ Anonymous