13 April 2006
Ahhh . . . Maundy Thursday
It's that service I think is ever so important in Holy Week, but really I usually just struggle. Because on Thursday I know I'll have to remove my shoes, reveal my feet and let someone (who is not a trained pedicurist, mind you) touch them. Even worse, depending on how the worship is shaped, I just may have to touch someone else's revealed feet, as well! Each year I cringe. But I also have deep respect for the humility of the Christ in this situation. It takes a lot of deep love and humility to wash the disciples' dirty, nasty, "we've-walked-in-sandals-all-across-the-dusty-land-following-Jesus" feet.
I did not cringe this year, however. I rolled the hem of my jeans and was served. And I served my sister, as well. And I remembered a young man in Johannesburg. He was an angry young man, as he was bedridden as a result of disease. And his feet were bandaged. His body was bandaged to cover the many bed sores taking over his skin. We walked into his room, and they handed me supplies to remove his bandages and to wash his feet.
The "we" who went to this man's home with me are a group of young South Africans who daily walk the dirt streets and sometimes through the "bush" to get to people's homes who were suffering HIV/AIDS and other house-ridden disease. Their daily lives consisted of great humility to bring vitamins and food to those who could not leave, to sit and talk to those who were now ostracized and to, of course, wash this man's feet and the rest of his body.
I remembered them this year as we sat in the sanctuary this Maundy Thursday. I thought of their passion--a passion that is, indeed, the passion of the Christ. I remembered this man who could barely speak English and how he let me wash his feet. And I remembered Jesus who daily serves me, a foolish soul certain to betray and beg for forgiveness. I remembered, and I washed and was washed.
And not once did I cringe.
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! Rom. 10:15
I'd love to hear your feet-washing stories . . .