Here’s something I do: I walk barefoot. Not just around the house, not just on the beach, but everywhere, pretty much all the time, and in most kinds of weather. Of course I recognize a few limits. There are places where it is just not safe or socially acceptable to go barefoot. And here in Iowa, there are definitely winter days when it is just too cold and snowy for bare feet. Also, I’m not such a hardcore barefooter that I refuse to wear shoes. On the contrary; I have some shoes that I like, which are very comfortable, and are a pleasure to wear. Given a choice, however, I prefer to leave my feet bare.
Now some people are going to think this is weird, and some are going to find it gross. Whenever a celebrity is snapped walking around town barefoot, comments tend to be along the lines of, “That’s so dirty and disgusting!” I’m not here to argue about the health pros and cons for going barefoot, nor to debate hygiene. There are plenty of Facebook groups and websites that carry on at length about such matters. I’m also not here to promote some sort of foot fetish. It’s not hard to find websites devoted to that either.
For me, going barefoot simply feels good. I enjoy the feel of the ground beneath my feet, and there is something therapeutic about going on long barefoot walks, over diverse terrain, letting my soles feel the many textures thus encountered. It feeds my soul. (See what I did there?) I’m not sure I buy all the stuff currently going around online about “grounding” or “earthing,” but I do know that I feel good when I walk and I feel better when I walk barefoot.
I like to say, only half-jokingly, that I’m on good Biblical footing! After all, Moses is told, “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5). Joshua receives almost verbatim instructions (Joshua 5:15). Stephen repeats the Moses story in Acts 7:33. If the earth is holy—and Genesis assures us that it is: “God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good” (Genesis 1:31)—we should not be afraid to touch it with our bare feet.