I was working and living at the Ft. Worth, Texas Rescue Mission as a councilor and head of security. One day I was going through the mission thrift shop and an old pair of cowboy boots struck my eye. They were pretty beat up, the heels badly worn and there was a 1" tear on the left boot where the little toe would be. I couldn't keep my eyes off of them, standing there along with much better shoes and boots to pick from. Finally, I gave up and grabbed the boots and put them on to try them out. The leather, though old and rough, was the softest I had ever experienced and the fit was perfect, so I took them to the cashier who told me that she didn't know how they got on the shelf because they should have been in the recycle bin instead of put up for sale. She charged me a whole 25 cents for them and I took them back to the mission, not really knowing what I was going to do with them. That night, I grabbed the boots, some shoe polish, some stout thread and a carpet needle up to the second floor where the residents TV room was. Donning a seat, I started working on them. Since there was a tear on one boot, I made an incision on the opposite boot in the same spot as the left boot had. Then, I made a series of loop stitches and knotted each loop, and sewed both of them up so they looked alike, While I was busy sewing the boots, there were a few nay sayers in the room who said the boots were worthless and no one in their right mind would have paid money for them. I really hate to be laughed at, but for a change, I kept my cool. The next night, I took the old boots out and again, went to the TV room and started polishing the boots. Layer, upon layer, upon layer. the polish went on. I melted the wax into the rough parts of the leather so it would imbed itself properly and give me a good foundation. Somewhere in the process of things, I had a couple of fellows ask me how much I wanted for the boots. One guy offered me $5.00 provided I finish polishing them. I didn't want to sell them, so I just kept working on them. A couple of nights later I had some spare time, so I got busy with the boots again. This time it was the moment of truth as I started with the "spit shine" stage. The wax was worn perfectly into the leather so the leather stayed plyable and soft and almost just right. I got a couple more offers for the boots that night and the price went up to $15.00! No sale. When I took the boots to the cobbler the next day for a sole and heel job he didn't have anything going on at the time so he did the job immediately. It took him a good hour and cost me about $30.00, but after he was finished they were now a real work of art. A couple of days went by and my night to preach came up. I really didn't have anything special to relay to the men and ladies who would be in the chapel. But, with Bible in hand, and my boots on my feet I walked into the chapel that night with just a simple message in mind. But, what was in my mind isn't what the message turned out to be. I suddenly realized what had been going on all week or so long. God was giving one of the most important messages I have ever preached. The message was about a pair of old worthless boots. You see, those boots were just like me and thousands of other people. At first, I wasn't of any particular value because I had a lot of rough spots, tears, scars, and was generally worn out and with a hard heart, with no use or a cause in life. God saw that, and gave me a softer heart, polished me up, sewed the splits, made me new again and with a realization of value again. After the message was over, I was never kidded about my boots again. They realized, as I did, that beat up and worn out people are the same as those old boots...... until they fall into a pair of hands that love them enough to make them new again. God does that. Any more "Boot" stories?