In the Shoes Thereof

Biblical TextPhilippians 2:19-24
Guidelines for Individual Playdates

Value of This Activity:

Asks us to imagine sensory details for a historical or literary event. Keeps us grounded in real-world sensibility. Resists turning lived experiences into mere ideas.

Items Needed:

Bible, Paper, and Pen. Your imagination.

To Begin . . .

Spend a moment in quiet prayer. If you wish, begin by freewriting for 3-5 minutes. Just let the pen empty out your concerns and thanksgiving for the day. Breathe.

How to Play . . .

  1. Read Philippians 2:19-24.
  2. Imagine Paul in prison and Timothy with him.
  3. Describe the scene using all your senses.
    • What do you see? Describe it in detail.
    • What do you hear? Think about the ambient noise. What noises or sounds are in the background?
    • What do you smell? Describe the smell. Does it make you think of anything?
    • How do the objects in the space feel to the touch? The clothes, any furnishings, any plants or animals? How many different textures can you imagine into the space?
    • What do you taste? Food? A sourness of breath? Can you taste fear? What does it taste like?
  4. Imagine a ‘backstory’ for both Paul and Timothy. What brought them to this place, with Paul in prison and Timothy with him? Make up a story that brings them here and that establishes their relationship. Be creative. Make them out to be real, living people.
  5. Finally, “put yourself in the shoes” of Timothy. Write a short freewrite in Timothy’s voice — either immediately before this scene occurs or two days later. Then repeat the process for Paul — in the shoes thereof.

In Closing . . .

Take a moment to breathe and let the playtime settle around you. Carry your curiosity and insights and questions into the day.

Playdate Reference Material:

Playing with Narratives
The Imaginative Intellect
Things the Body Knows
Guidelines for Individual Playdates
Playdates with Scripture ARCHIVES

Creative Commons License
Playdates with Scripture by Virginia Wiles is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at