breaking the ice by warming the heart

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ice in New Hampshire
ice in New Hampshire (recent vacation)

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

IMG_7161Ice is an interesting thing. We’re still fairly new around here, and I have yet to unravel the various nuances of freezing; so I was momentarily nonplussed by yesterday morning’s challenge.

I knew there would be ice, so I grabbed my scraper five minutes before Rebekah left for WFPC and headed for her car. But this time it didn’t work! The frozen coating may have been less than a quarter-inch thick, but the wiper blades were pretty-much welded to the front window, and the ice was bonded to her RAV-4 in a seamless shell as if it had been sprayed on and then frozen in place.

Duh! It had been sprayed on (hours of light rain and drizzle) and then it had been frozen in place.

last winter it came right off!
last winter it came right off!

Last year scraping had been more spectacular, but easier to pull off. This time, however, I chipped, I scraped, and I chiseled, but nothing happened other than a minor scratching of the surface.

Then it dawned on me. There are two sides to every window. So I ran back for Rebekah’s keys, got the engine running, cranked up the defrost, and waited.

Fifteen minutes later it looked – on the surface – as if nothing had changed; but my first pass with the scraper yielded a thin crack, and it wasn’t long before the initial movement gave way to total capitulation.

What had happened is that the change on the inside had created just the slightest difference between the temperature of the glass and that of the ice. In that instant, the bond had been broken and it was simply a matter of removing the H2O.

IMG_7164LESSON LEARNED: As I continued to work my way around the SUV, it dawned on me how much effort we all waste by trying to change people from the outside-in, chipping away at what we think we understand, rather than simply opening the door and actually getting to know them.

It’s amazing what just a small change of temperature on the inside can do to mitigate stalemate, and break down the resistance experienced when we go after people from a distance, throwing everything we have at something we will likely never change.

Gotta love winter around here!
Gotta love winter around here! (2103)

If we want to effect meaningful change, then the way to get the ball rolling is to put down our weapons (rhetorical as well as physical), open some doors, and begin building relationships.

Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. – Jesus, Revelation 3:20


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