Daddy's Shoe Shine Box


Not long ago, while rummaging through a closet, I came across my Daddy’s old shoe shine box. It’s a sixty-year-old vintage wooden box designed to store shoe polish, cloths, and brushes, with a footrest on top. Nothing fancy, but quite functional. Many of Daddy’s supplies, including old tins of polish, were still inside.

I had decided I needed to work on several old pairs of my own shoes, so I pulled down the old box and went to work. As I worked on the shoes, all kinds of memories of my Daddy came flooding back.

Most Saturdays, he would get out his shoe shine box and gather the shoes that needed to be polished so we would all be ready for church the next day.

Saturday was often the day for haircuts for three boys (my two younger brothers and me) if needed. Daddy took care of the haircuts in those days. In fact, I never went to a barber shop until I left home for college.

It was also on Saturdays that Daddy would remind all of us to finish getting our Bible lessons ready for Sunday Bible class.

While I worked on the shoes, I also thought about some basic life-lessons…

…Take good care of what you have. Even if your shoes are not brand new, you can care for them and make them look their best. Be a good and grateful steward of what God has given.

…The little things in life are important. Even things like shining your shoes and looking your best. How we handle the little things prepares us for the bigger things in life.

…Clarify your priorities. First things first. Make the main thing the main thing. God and his things always come first, and this brings purpose and order to life.

…Family is important. Family routines and traditions strengthen bonds and foster a sense of belonging.

…Friends can be as close as family. Hold your family and friends close.

…Our example is important. Moral values are cultivated by what we do, by behavior as well as by words. I am grateful for the good example my parents set for me.

…Memories help mold who we are. They are part of our identity and our connection with the past. Precious memories remind us of lessons learned, love expressed, and experiences shared. They make us grateful for God’s blessings.

My Daddy was a good man—as good as any man I ever knew. He humbly served the Lord. He faithfully preached the gospel. And he was a loving husband to our Mom and a great Dad to us boys. He went to be with the Lord in 2009. I miss him, but I thankfully cherish his memory.

Dan Petty