Christine Guth is Program Director for Anabaptist Disabilities Network. This is a talk she gave to the United Church of Christ national disabilities conference in September 2011. Listen to it on YouTube, below.
I took off my shoes, because at the deepest level, the reason I am here-- my best qualification for giving this talk--is that I have lived most of my life without the luxury of many things shoes represent. The barefoot African slaves who sang "I've got shoes" knew that shoes represented power, status, wealth, control, protection. Blessings they knew they would enjoy when their time came to walk all over God’s heaven.
My ancestors came from Europe, so that puts me in a privileged class in this country. But another fact about me boots me out before I even get in the door. I have lived most of my life in that no-shoes status where people look on with pity, condescension, and satisfied superiority. I have lived all of my life under the shadow of mental illness.
Watch video below or read a complete transcript of talk.