We were having hard times and no work could he find
And his children were crying for bread.
His heart was sad and he took what little he had
Bought shoestrings and a few spools of thread.

Then all day tramped the street on tired aching feet
Until he thought he could take no more
He earned a little each day, though ’twas mighty small pay
It helped keep the wolf from the door.

Perhaps some day he’ll be passing your way.
If you can, buy some shoestrings or thread
And be thankful that you are not forced to do
Such work for your daily bread.

If “no” you must say and you turn him away
Won’t you turn him away with a smile?
For somehow it eases the hurt of his unpleasant work
And makes life seem a little worthwhile.

Though they don’t cost a penny, yet there are many
Who won’t even give smiles to the poor
And then without question they expect God to bless them
With all that they ask him for.

But some day they’ll learn, we reap what we’ve earned.
So God in His goodness has planned,
That all the good that we do always comes back to you.
So, smile at the shoestring man.

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