Washing Feet


This Passover Thursday, I washed feet.  Having heard the story of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet as a young child, I knew I was to be the servant of all. Willing to kneel to the mundane for my fellow man.  Head learning comes fairly easily for me; heart learning comes a whole lot harder.

I woke up with my agenda for the day.  This agenda was altered.  Not much.  Not really even in the details so much as the timing.  I balked.  And so, the day that Jesus knelt to wash the feet of those who would betray him, deny him, desert him, I too knelt on a dirty bathroom floor and scrubbed toilets and bathtubs.  Washing the feet of little ones who didn’t even know their feet needed washing.  Little feet that didn’t know they were dirty, and if they did know, didn’t always mind the dirt.  I knelt with my bowl and towel over the sides of the bathtub and lamented my task.  I complained.  I raged against the thanklessness of it all.  Tears of self-pity carving paths down my cheeks.

Then, the whisper of my name and a gentle hand on my foot.  A hand, on whose palm was engraved the scars from my nails, began washing my feet.  Jesus, having loved his own, loved them to the end.  (John 13:1)  And those tears of rage turned to tears of shame.  I say I would be willing to die for my Jesus, but cleaning bathrooms was too much?  On that bathroom floor I cried out to the one who so loving washed away my dirt; and on that Passover Thursday, while washing feet, my own were cleansed.

Friday morning my heart lay prostrate before the cross.  An instrument of torture from which sorrow and love flow mingled down.  I know in the very depths of my heart that were the whole realm of nature mine, it would be an offering far too small.  Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.

Mine, mine was the transgression

But Thine the deadly pain

What language shall I borrow

to thank Thee dearest Friend

Lord let me never, never

Outlive my love to Thee

(excerpts from “O Sacred Head Now Wounded”)

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