Coming Unto Christ: Lessons From the Man Who Shone My Shoes 

Lessons from a shoeshiner at the airport

Are we making sure that we are not too busy for each other, for our loved ones and for God?  

One morning I was rushing through a busy airport on my way to attend a stake conference. Just after I went through the immigration formalities, an announcement was made that my flight was delayed.

I stood there watching many people rushing up and down and just as I turned around to continue walking towards my boarding gate, someone tapped me gently on the shoulder and said, ‘Sir, let me polish your shoes for you’. Before I could protest, he pointed out that my shoes were dirty, and it looked like I was heading out for a very important meeting. I looked down and realized that he was right, and since I now had some extra time, I walked with him to his chair and sat down.

As he polished my shoes, he asked me where I was heading to; I explained to him that I had a church engagement. He commented, “We live in a very busy world… everyone is rushing up and down and people just don’t have time for others and for God.” He told me how he used to make time to pray and to read his bible. I asked him why he had stopped, and his answer was, “I am busy, we are busy, and the world is busy as you can see. Everyone has somewhere to run.”

Coming unto Christ may mean different things to each of us.

As I walked away from him, I thought to myself, “Are we too busy for each other, for our loved ones and for God?” I have ever since pondered this question. How well am I doing in inviting all to “come unto Christ, make and keep sacred covenants and become His lifelong disciples”? Our Area Vision asks that we extend this invitation to Father in Heaven’s children, who may be at different stages of along the covenant path.

Coming unto Christ may mean different things to each of us. To one it may mean taking the step to get baptized, to another it may mean retracing their steps and coming back to church. We are aware that there are those who once sat with, sang with us, and partook of the sacrament with us; to them, we say, we love you and we need you -- please come back! Others may have made choices that have taken them away from the Saviour and His Church and may feel that there is no way back.

Elder David A. Bednar said in the April 2022 General Conference, “As we are steadfast in coming unto Christ and are yoked with Him, we receive the cleansing, healing, and strengthening blessings of His infinite and eternal Atonement”.

My invitation to you, brothers and sisters, is for us to evaluate our lives and ask ourselves what we need to do to answer that loving invitation that was given by Jesus Christ so many years ago when He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” He stands with open hands, inviting us to come unto Him. Regardless of where we are, there is hope for each of us. He loves us so much that He voluntarily gave His life for us. All we are to do is accept the invitation to “come unto Christ”.

Do whatever is required to come unto Him!


1. Area Vision

2. Elder David A. Bednar, But We Heeded Them Not, April 2022 General Conference

3. Mathew 11: 28