Pioneer Shoes

by Gretchen Guzman

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the one bringing good news…” – Isaiah 52:7

Pioneer shoes, as my Hoo Hoo Grandma called them, are very important.  Pioneers have to have comfortable shoes.  So what if they’re not elegant or pretty!  In Jehovah’s eyes, the feet they enclose are truly beautiful.  Those shoes symbolize the willingness to work hard for him, the intention to keep walking the streets long after the pretty shoes would have started to pinch.

When my little Buster Brown clad feet were walking the pavement in search of sheep-like ones, Grandma made me feel that I was beautiful to Jehovah.  She made full-time service seem pleasant and special, and like the highest and noblest thing that I could do.  It was so important to her that I enjoy that privilege, so I did, for 2 1/2 years.

How I respected Grandma for her love of God and neighbor.  I learned how to be a good teacher and a true friend from her.  She treated everyone like family, especially her precious bible students.  With Grandma as their teacher and friend, they needed never fear that they would be left alone.  One sweet lady who learned the truth from Grandma and eventually became one of our sisters became very ill.  Grandma took loving care of her until that illness took her life.

Grandma was always so proud of me, so proprietary, always wanting me to meet her friends.

My Grandma was the congregation Grandma.  I know I must have felt a little wronged when I was very small.  I don’t think I wanted to share.  But as I grew older, I felt very privileged.  She was my real Grandma!

One of the best things about going to meeting with Grandma was hearing her sing.  She carried the whole congregation with her beautiful soprano.  When I sing, I hear her, and that is one of the most precious gifts Jehovah has given me.  The first thing I want to do when I see her again is to hear her sing and to sing with her.

The going was always pretty rough for Grandma.  She was often in pain, more and more so as the years went on.  But she never gave up.  Even as she battled the cancer that finally took her life, she kept on teaching.  I want nothing more than to follow in Grandma’s footsteps.  One day again, I will wear the pioneer shoes.