I have cold feet.
Seriously, they are frigid. Hands too, just terribly, terribly chilly. I have this fear in which my car plummets off the road into some ravine or ditch. And it isn’t the accident itself, but the sense of urgency of the first-on-the-scene that frightens me. I envision the emergency workers sprinting to the overturned, crushed car, and all that is sticking out from the debris is my foot. A worker grabs it, and upon the touch, his eyes drop and he shakes his head forlornly. “Looks like we lost him,” he’d say to the other rescuers, who drop their shoulders and any remaining sense of urgency. And muffled inside the car, I’d be yelling, “HEY! I’M STILL IN HERE! I’M ALIVE. HELP!!”
That probably won’t ever happen, but the cold hands and feet thing—well, that is happening right now. I simply don’t circulate well, and this is a deficiency of my heart. The little guy does the best he can, just-a-pumping the day away, but he just doesn’t have the strength to push the blood all the way to the furthest reaches of my body. My heart is weak; my heart is flawed.
And it has always been like this.
Naturally, this causes some tension when folks shake my hands. Sometimes they pull their own warm, normal hand away swiftly: “Your hand is freezing!” they say, one-part intrigued and one-part appalled. They think me sick, or perhaps undead. Over and over again this happens.
I remember at a church once during one of those shake-the-hands-of-those-around-you-moments, the rapid-fire awkwardness stemming from my icy hands. “Are you cold?” they asked. “Are you dead?” “Do you need gloves?” “UGH!”
Each handshake prompted a question or comment centered on my affliction.
Then one woman, surely near death herself for age, grabbed my icy paw and held onto it. She brought her other comparatively warm hand up and enclosed my meat-locker appendage in the warmth of hers.
“Your hand is cold,” she said with knowing eyes.
“Yeah, I don’t circulate well,” I said.
Without hearing me, she leaned in to my ear, smiled, and said: “Your heart must be awful warm.”
The Bible says that I was wrought forth in iniquity. It says I was surely a sinner since my birth. Yet God sees something else . . .
In that moment, clasping hands with this woman, I felt a truth resonate deep within my now-warm heart: God looks past all my ineptitude and deficiency. He doesn’t exclaim or pull back because of it. He redeems it. I am afflicted, sure, what of me isn’t? But God, like that little old lady, isn’t fazed by the defect, but instead sees the potential. In His eyes, I am not defined by all that is wrong with me, but by His ability to redeem. Man looks at the external, but God looks at the heart; and because of Christ, He looks eyes my weak heart in love and hope.