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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Washing Feet

“We are going to go to the day shelter and give women beauty treatments.  Want to come?  You might be helping with haircuts, or painting nails…I think there might even be a massage therapist there. “
I found myself saying that I would go.  A few days later when we arrived I found myself giving pedicures and that means that I was washing feet.  There were homeless women with missing teeth, homeless mommas, and homeless teenagers.  For the most part they fit the stereotype.  For the most part.  They are people.
And while I wasn’t expecting to be washing feet, just painting toenails, there was a bigger surprise waiting.  See this had been set up as a way to serve women in the community, but the men wanted to be a part as well.  And there was a man who sat down at my station.  His feet needed to be washed.  And I sat there, with the tub in front of me and washed and scrubbed and rubbed lotion on his worn, callused feet.
I also had the opportunity to wash a pregnant woman’s feet and paint a frilly French pedicure that day.  She had her daughter about 8 years old with her.  It was pink for the little girl and a deep foot rub for her momma.  It was humbling.

Today I was thinking about Easter.  It’s one of the most important holidays as a Christian.  At the last supper Jesus washes the disciples’ feet.  It says {he} rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13.4-5
Have you ever washed someone’s feet?  It’s humbling, on the part of the receiver.  It’s a gift that is a symbol and an act.  When we wash our feet we are preparing them to do work.  Our feet work the hardest and receive the least attention, at least mine do.
We are called to be hands and feet.  Tangible work.  It’s through the gospel that this work acquires meaning and we are humbled. 
How beautiful are the feet that bring Good News Romans 10.15
So as we come towards the last supper I am going to be looking down…at my feet.  In reverence, in awe.

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