2011-09-14 - Sandy Feet
Luke 7:38 and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
Question: What opportunities do you have to "wash someone's feet," either metaphorically or literally? Who has wanted to "wash your feet" in some way lately?
My family and I just returned from a week at Edisto Beach. We had a great time. I enjoyed romping in the surf with my nephews and niece and my dog Maggie, and walking on the beach.
What I don't enjoy, though, is having sandy feet. As soon as I have the chance, I want to wash them off because they feel gritty and dirty, and I'm the first to run for the shower or the water hose. Any delay in my feet getting clean is cause for me to really get distracted by the discomfort. It's hard for me not to get impatient and grouchy, once I'm ready for my feet to be clean again. I feel so much better, once I've had access to fresh running non-salt water and, even better, soap.
During one of my foot washings, I thought about how often this act and similar acts of service like giving someone a drink of cold water or something decent to eat are talked about in the accounts of Jesus' time on this Earth. I thought about how Jesus washed his disciples feet as an act of service to them, and how the woman who washed his feet was rebuked. I thought about Jesus having dusty tired feet from traveling around teaching and performing miracles. I felt so grateful that he was willing to put up with that, as well as so many other physical discomforts and limitations. He wasn't enjoying a vacation like I was. He was here to live and die for sin, though he had never sinned, and to provide salvation.
He didn't have access to running water and showers and soap the way we do now, of course, and probably had to walk much longer distances before arriving at a home where a servant would hopefully wash his feet. The woman who washed his feet was being so sensitive to making him more comfortable, and to a physical need that he had. The others watching may not have liked it, but this story wound up becoming part of the record of Jesus' life that is part of our Bible today.
Thinking about Jesus' sandy feet made me feel bad about getting grouchy and impatient over having to deal with dirty feet for just a few minutes. Each time my feet were dirty, I tried to use the experience as an opportunity to reflect on Jesus coming to Earth and dealing with human limitations, right down to dirty feet, and to think about serving in humility.
Sometimes, little things that happen in the course of our daily activities can remind us of spiritual principles and Bible stories that we've learned. We can use these times to pray and think about what we are learning, and have learned, about how to live. We can use these little moments as times of praise and thanksgiving, and as invitations to seek God.
Dear Lord, thank you for the day-to-day things that remind us of Your life here on Earth, lessons in Your Word, and our need to be open to what You have to teach us, even in matters that seem so unimportant. Thank You for coming to Earth to deal with human limitations and discomforts, like dirty feet.