The House Shoes

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” (2 Cor 4:15)

My feet stay cold. So cold that during the winter, they ache and cramp and generally cause problems for me. I have something called Renaud’s disease. It means that the circulation in my hands and feet has slowed down, causing these extremities to feel extremely cold and sometimes even to go numb. I’ve had this condition for three or four years, and it was probably caused by one of the medications that I took for migraines. Most of the time, I don’t even remember I have it – until my feet get cold and start to bother me.

My feet give me problems when the temperature drops below 60 degrees. Sometimes they bother me in the summer if I wear sandals in a cold room. The pain and cramping usually only happen in the evening or at night – the temperature is cooler by then, and the stress of the day has caught up with me. The last time my feet cramped during the summer, I figured out that I could turn on my heating pad and set my feet on it. After about 10 minutes, the pain was gone.

Because of this problem, I wear wool socks (sometimes two pairs) during the winter along with warm house shoes. After last winter, I had almost worn a hole in my house shoes, so I threw them away. When the temperature dropped into the 60s a couple of months ago, I decided I could make do with wool socks. After one minor episode of cramping, I realized that I would be much more comfortable with house shoes. So off to the store I went with my coupons to purchase a new pair.

After I got home, I put them on. The difference they made in the temperature of my feet was astonishing! And when the temperature dropped below freezing and stayed there for over 48 hours, I was extremely grateful for the person who had created these plush, warm slippers. While it may seem like a small thing, wearing house shoes improves my quality of life tremendously.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Paul says we should “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” If anyone had reason to complain, it was Paul. He was shipwrecked, thrown in prison, and endured a thorn in his side which God never took away. When we’re in pain, it’s sometimes hard to see the good in that situation. But I know that there is good in my situation. My hands provide my livelihood, and so far they continue to allow me to feel the keyboard as I type and grip a pen or pencil. I have wool socks, house shoes, and heating pads to improve my feet when they hurt. Through my pain, I learn to understand and have grace for those who are suffering. Cold feet remind me of my vulnerability and need for Christ, so in this, as in all things, I will give thanks.

Dear Jesus, thank you for remedies for my cold feet that allow me to remember your faithfulness. You are there even in the midst of pain, providing relief. Amen.