“Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes - The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.” –Elizabeth B. Browning
It may seem a strange thing to write a newspaper column about feet. But I believe, as God’s Word teaches, that everything has been made by God and in what God has made, we glimpse something of His glory. Yes, even in feet.
Have you ever considered the fact that God designed and made the human foot? Leonardo da Vinci called the foot “a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.” It really is amazing if you think about it. Here are some fruits of a little Internet research:
They are intricately constructed. One quarter of all our bones are found in the feet, 26 per foot to be exact. In addition there are 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles. This equates to many small moving parts at work whenever we walk.
They are remarkably reliable. The average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day, which adds up to about 115,000 miles over a lifetime. That's enough to go around the circumference of the earth four times. You will not find a tire that would give you that kind of mileage guarantee.
Though they are fragile, they are extremely tough. During a typical day the feet endure a cumulative force of 1,000 tons.
They are very strong. With every stride the heel absorbs a shock up to three times your body’s weight and your forefoot between four and seven times the weight of your body. This means that the foot of a 150 lb. runner may be called upon to support a weight of a 1,000 pounds or more.
They are well-suited to many purposes. With our feet we can walk, stand, run, retreat, leap, hop, shuffle, stomp, limp, skip, swim, climb, kick, dance and spur on. Some have even learned to paint with their feet.
Fine craftsmanship points to a Master Craftsman. Should we not stand in awe of such a majestic Creator?
Mainly, though, the Lord gave us feet so that we would walk with Him - everyday. Remember one of the first things that we are told about Adam and Eve is that the Lord would come and walk in the garden with them (Genesis 3:8). I think that everyone has experienced the personal fellowship that comes when taking a walk with someone else. God still calls us to walk in constant communion with Him. The Psalmist sings of the joy of this divine stroll, “I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel” (Psalm 73:23-24). The Apostle Paul calls us to “walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). Peter says to “follow in [Jesus’] steps” (I Peter 2:21). We are also told that when many disciples rejected Jesus and His teaching that “they no longer walked with him” (John 6:66).
Walking still continues in the last book of the Bible. In Revelation when Jesus is writing to the church in Sardis, he tells the faithful that in the end, when they enter glory “they will walk with me in white” (Revelation 3:4).
It is also with our feet that we go to tell others about the never ending hope to be found in Jesus: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!” (Romans 10:15).
One will have a very shallow understanding of feet if their real purpose is missed. God made our feet to bring glory to His name. We were made to enjoy God and His beauty in all things. The stuff of this world is hollow and unsatisfying when we fail to grasp that their true splendor is to be found in God.
God gave us feet to remind us of His greatness. God gave us His Son so that we could be forgiven of our sins and walk each day, each step, in His presence. If you have never walked with God, ask more about Him from a friend who walks with Him, or visit a local church where He is known. Once you begin walking with Him, keep on walking in all His ways. He will guide you; He will be with You; He will keep you from stumbling; He will lead you to those who have not yet heard the Good News; He will walk with you forever.
James Calderazzo is pastor of Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church in Destin. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.