Fimba and the shoe shop (A parable)



Fimba, forsaken by sleep one Saturday night, searched for something to read for distraction. He stumbled on AMNON GETS MARRIED by Jane Aimee. He read the story right up to Amnon’s conversation with pastor Leonard in the church office, before passing out in sleep. And that’s all he read from the story.

The next morning during praise and worship in church, Fimba suddenly remembered the illustration in the novel about trying a pair of shoes before buying them, and if they don’t fit, keep them back on the shelf and keep trying others.

A cunning smile crossed his face. After service, he chose his first shoe to try out: her name was Linda. The shoe didn’t fit.

Every month for a year or more, Fimba tried a new shoe from the diversity of the congregational shoe shop: Juliet, Brenda, Janet, Cassandra etc. And in every circumstance there was always a reason why the shoe didn’t seem to fit. For example:

“I’m not really into her; she’s too short; she’s not well educated; we don’t look good together; her mother is fat! She doesn’t know how to cat-walk; she doesn’t feel my swag; she doesn’t have good fashion taste; Oh, look at that new shoe that just arrived!”

And he would tactfully return the “inconvenient” shoe to the shelf, or as in the case of Suzy, even propose it to another potential buyer.

Fimba’s luck ran out when he tried the clean, calm, dark, tall and slim, cat-walking shoe known as Rosalina.

Initially it was a heaven-made perfect fit. People admired him each time he wore the shoe to church and other public gatherings.

But then again… Fimba thought he could cook up some flimsy excuse to return the shoe to the shop and look for another fitting shoe. But unknown to him, on the sole of the shoe was written the inscription: ‘NO TRY-OUT. IF YOU TAKE ME, YOU MUST BUY ME’.

Every gymnastic to get the shoe off his feet and back to the shelf proved abortive. The shoe stuck to Fimba’s foot like Superglue Cent-Dix© on a surface of paper. If it must be returned to the shelf, it would do so at the cost of the leg.

The buyer was pathetic but the owner of the shoe readily packaged the parcel and handed it out.

Months later, Fimba came complaining to the sales boy at the shop.

‘Men, that shoe hurts like nothing I’ve ever experienced’. The sales boy replied ‘Patience, man. With just a little endurance and hard work it will finally fit. Don’t be too quick to complain or throw away your shoe.’

Fimba cried, ‘By the time the shoe can fit I will be walking on crutches or on a wheelchair, for right now my toenails have come out and the skin on my toes is blistering.’

‘Don’t worry’, the sales boy assured Fimba. ‘Endure for a little while. I think you’ll need copies of my Master’s books such as “DON’T THROW AWAY YOUR SHOE YET!” and “HOW TO GET HURTING SHOES TO FIT”. Try the techniques outlined therein. I wish you the best.’

With a sigh, Fimba paid and collected the books. He left the shop sad.

Let him that has ears hear!

Janet Bengan

Fiction for Teaching, Inspiration and Entertainment.

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