What Size Are God's Shoes?: Kids, Chaos, and the Spiritual Life

By Tim Schenck

Review By Casey Fedde

Categories: Spiritual Living

Books with questions as titles are hard to stop reading, unless the answer to the title's question is on the first page. Basically, these books are shoo-ins. And "What Size Are God's Shoes?" is a definite "shoe"-in.

Author Tim Schenck is an Episcopal priest, writer, and father who details the chaos of raising sons Benedict and Zachary - and the family pooch, Delilah - with his wife, Bryna. From the everyday tasks of readying the kids for school, a snow day, or a birthday party to dealing with lawn care, team loyalties, gray hairs, and the day Dad becomes Class Mom, Schenck covers it all with incomparable wit and humor.

Parceled out in very short stories, which fit perfectly into our own chaotic lives, this book is overflowing with spiritual messages from many Bible stories but is not weighed down by heavy references to Scripture. Schenck constantly reminds readers of the simplicity of faith, of the fundamentals - "Love God and love neighbor" - and of how natural it is to impart this faith daily. He comically compares the fundamentals to "the two commandments of kindergarten soccer: kick the ball toward your opponent's goal and don't use your hands" (60). As in youth soccer, he says, it is best to keep things simple.

But, in applying the faith Jesus taught, he says, "The mistake we so often make is to view ourselves as the builders.... You and I are the bricks." This idea is echoed throughout the book, in chapters centered on being a parent, a spouse, or simply a child of God. Remember, "It's not always glamorous to be a brick" (46).

While Schenck reaches out to parents, seeking the camaraderie of those trying to teach kids to share, always write thank-you notes, and be good sports even as Yankees fans (Schenck is an Orioles fan), he simultaneously speaks to those without kids. His messages are universal and metaphoric, and he relates kid moments to adults. What's the difference? "Adults aren't given the luxury of being able to whine in public," he writes. "[B]ut turning to God amid all the changes inherent in this life allow us to focus on the one rock of stability that endures through it all. And that's a source of both strength and comfort" (114).

Reading "What Size Are God's Shoes?" is heartwarming both for parents and non-parents. It is also a gentle reminder that when driving a minivan feels uncool, or when too much toothpaste squirts from the tube, or when the kid's hotdog slips from the bun and lands in the dirt – in other words, when life happens - God is there, too.

So, what size are God's shoes? You'll have to read the book to find out.