Do I Really Want You to Touch my Feet?

I wish I enjoyed it, but I don’t. I can’t sit still if someone massages my feet or gives me a pedicure. That would be why I have only had one of each in my life. Imagine my thoughts when I heard that we were about to wash each other’s feet.

This is a picture of my wife Danielle washing Baan’s feet. At the time we didn’t know Baan very well. He lives in Pattaya, Thailand. Danielle and I served with the same ministry organization with Baan. He became a close and trusted in friend.

I sat waiting my turn for someone to wash my feet. I tried to ignore the anxiety rising in me. I really didn’t want someone touching my feet! Ugh—I know I had uncut toenails, crusty heels and neglected calluses!

My body tensed as the poor soul unlucky enough to be the one to wash my feet knelt before me. I grabbed the edge of my chair trying not to kick them while they cleaned my feet with a rag.

You would think they were torturing me! I found it difficult to focus on the meaning of the action.

He set an example

Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.John 13:13-15 ESV

In this context not only did I have some physical aversion to someone touching and even washing my feet.I also struggled with the humility of the act.

You might know that the custom of the Jesus’ day was for the lowliest servant of the house to wash the dirty feet of each guest before they entered the home. Walking along dusty roads in sandals made this an unwanted task, I am sure.

Living in the hot, humid climate of Pattaya, we wore sandals or flip-flops all the time. So, our feet too were dirty and dusty.

A reverence filled the room

A hush permeated the room only penetrated by soft crying and sniffling as we washed each others feet.

At the passover or last supper feast, Jesus, their Lord, their Master, humbly lowered himself to serve his disciples by washing their feet.

Quite possibly we react as the disciple Peter did—”You shall never wash my feet!”

What was Jesus wanting his disciples to understand? What does He want me to understand?

If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them… Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. John 13:17, 20 ESV

As the room completed the act of washing one another’s feet, a sense of reverence filled the room. We understood better what Jesus was saying about being blessed if we knew the power of humbly serving each other.

We also felt the weight of receiving what Jesus has done for us.

This season of remembering the Passover Lamb, the One who not only washes our feet with humility, but also provides a way for cleansing our whole being, may do the same by humbly serving others.

 How do you celebrate Passover or Good Friday?

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I am a longtime Austinite. Married my beautiful wife over 25 years ago. Adopted our son September 2012. Currently a writer and loving it. Previous jobs and careers include project management, missionary, and pastor. I enjoy sports (both watching and playing), traveling, reading, digging in dirt and hanging with my friends and family.

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