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
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?
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 I do the same by humbly serving others.