Who’s gonna fill their shoes?

by Kevin on May 8, 2010

Note to readers: I would like to say welcome to Michelle A. Farley from Sanger, Texas. Michelle is a gifted writer and photographer. She sent me the followin’ article and I immediately asked her if I could publish it here on Campfire Cowboy Ministries. Please take a moment of your time to go see her extraordinary work at www.lostonthehorizonphotography.com. I would also like to give her church, Open Range Cowboy Church of North Texas in Krum, Texas a shout out.

Who’s gonna fill their shoes?

By Michelle A. Farley

We’ve all heard the lyrics the ole Possum has belted out about the red headed stranger and the man in black…. “Who’s gonna give their heart and soul to get to me and you; Lord I wonder, who’s gonna fill their shoes”. I never gave much thought to the lyrics outside of the context in which they were written.  The highway men have always been a part of my life, and I couldn’t imagine their voices not filling the airways. They always knew what to say, the words that touched the soul, that made you cry, that made you laugh. The words that made you believe in the grace of God, the long lasting love of woman, the great gift of family, and a Momma who tried.

The other morning as I sat waiting to go to the celebration of life for Pops, I reminisced about my own grandpa – the love he had with my grandmother, his work ethic, dedication to his family, his unending belief in the good of mankind, the impact he had on a community, and his love for the Lord. We didn’t even have a cute nickname for him, everyone from 2 to 82 called him by his given name. The man was one of a kind. He was my hero, the example by which I believed all men should live, and the one to which I, unfairly to most, judge most men against.

As we trickled into the chapel to say our farewell to a friend or to simply show our support for our now very extended family I realized my grandpa was not one of a kind. This man Clifford, who I only had the pleasure of meeting a handful of times, was in his own way, the spitting image of my own hero. The testament of his life brought tears to my eyes, and my heart swelled with joy and with hope. Now don’t get me wrong, no man is perfect, and I’m sure Pops had his moments, but I realized sitting there that the truest testament to a man’s life is the love and memories he has left behind; the joy and the laughter and the stories; the quiet feeling in your soul that when he stood before God, our beloved Maker would nod his head and say, “Well done, my son.”

Grandpa in the middle

The words played in my head, ‘Who’s gonna fill their shoes, who’s gonna stand that tall’, and I wondered who would teach by example, offer a kind word to a stranger, teach little girls to dance, and young men to pray? Who was going to give all they had when they wanted nothing in return, who would stand by a friend and stand up for a lady, who would wipe away the tears, and make you laugh with their silent and quiet ways? Who would share God’s word, stories of His loving grace, and that even the most unruly man and all his rebel ways could still find his way?

I looked around to see these wind-blown, sunburned, worn cowboys, starched from head to toe, their hats and boots dusted off.  As I look into their eyes, I can see their souls – the long road, the dark times they’ve seen, the busted bones and the broken hearts, the late nights and empty words, the men they used to be, but now are no longer. For the love, the Lord, the peace shines through – in their spirit, in their hearts, in their words. The gentleness in their ways does not mean they’ve been broke, it means they’ve found another way. A way of love, of peace, and of life. A way in which only the Lord could lead and reign. I knew then who would fill their shoes. ~ MAF, 2010

“Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend.” ~ Plautus

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  • I can see why you wanted to publish this. I have tears in my eyes as I write this. I think the longing of every heart is to live a life of significance but many never follow through. That is why we hold these men and women with such high esteem. They have lived selfless lives that are invested in others with no desire for repayment. But the great thing is that Jesus Christ can give each of us a heart that desires this life.

  • Diana Kendrick

    Michelle is very very talented when it comes to writing, taking pictures and blessing her friends with her friendship and love. She is a wonderful woman that sees people for who they are. This story is a great example. I cried as I read it knowing it came from her heart. Thank you for sharing her talent with everyone. Michelle, thank you for being my friend. I am truely blessed having you in my life. Luv ya.

  • Melissa

    Beautiful story, amazing writing, a gifted storyteller. Thanks for sharin’.

  • tim

    Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?
    Who can truely say? The people we look up to as hero’s or giants of a certain venue never started out to be “That Person”.
    Can we tell “who will be the next Billy Graham?”, George Jones?,”Beatles?”, or “Paul Harvey?”.
    They each did “what they do best”. We can find pleanty of people who “sound like” or “act like” or “behaive like” our hero. But, these are just imitations of the original.
    Their are times when I ask, “Lord, who will teach the younger generation?
    A) How to live,
    B) show them what a healthy relationship is,
    C) teach them that the example of true Love that Hollywood gives isn’t correct.
    The Lord tells me, “Go, do, live your life as an example”.
    Just like your Pops, living each day, day in and day out. “Walking the talk”, living the life. These are the things that are remembers when we, I, am gone. The newspapers may report on the day and date, the “highlights” of our life and those were left behind. Our family and friends will tell each other of the important things in our lives. How we made an impression on our children, neices and nephews. The time we took to show intrest and importance in their lives. To seek them out and spend time with them. Showing that we cared.
    Who will fill our, my shoes?

  • Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you ever been blogging for?

    you made running a blog glance easy. The entire glance of your website is fantastic, as well as the content material!

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