Dirty Feet

wash feet
(art credit, Yongsung Kim)

I finally got mad this morning, mad at the people I love very much … for a few fleeting moments I was mad that they invited me to a place where I am grieving now.  Mad that I allowed my heart to love deeply and am now subjecting it to the pain of separation.  Mad that I wasn’t told how painful transition is … mad that there is nothing I can do about it except live it.  Why didn’t someone tell me how this would play out … how life throws all these curve balls and you’re left standing with a bat that feels too heavy to swing anymore; wondering if you should even be playing in the game?


This morning was one of those “the bats too heavy” feeling.  Tears began to fill my eyes as I thought about the voids I feel.  I was freshly showered, standing, looking at my clean feet, and my mind began to wander …


My clean feet … At bedtime I read Laura Ingles Wilder to my littlest, in the book she explains how dirty Laura’s feet are.  Dirty feet …  I remember my children playing all day with no shoes on; muddy adventures always brought in the house at bedtime.  It would take a good soaking bath to get all the dirt off.  I can see my hands reaching for those little feet through cloudy water to wash the stains off ticklish toes.  Washing feetJesus, I need my feet washed.


“Unless I wash you, you have no part with me … Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” John 13: 8 & 14


Every morning I shower and prepare for the day, every morning Father speaks to me while I wash …


• He washes away the discomfort of yesterday with words, music and quiet contemplation.


• He washes … and I am instructed to do what I have been taught … wash the feet of another who’s journey has left them dirty and tired.   I reach listen to another who is hurting.  I speak wisdom heard in a whisper to another on a road of confusion.  My phone chimes with texts from friends who need encouragement and I am given some in return.


• We wash each other’s feet from the dirt of the roads we are traveling on.


Grieving is a road filled with tiny, sharp pebbles that cause you to wince and tighten.  It’s a road that makes you question if your destination is worth the pain … if you’re strong enough to continue?  This road will cause you to blame others for your discomfort and, if you focus on the road, you never look up for guidance and direction.  On this current road I travel, there have been times I wanted to cross to another, retreat and begin a new road … “Surely there is an easier way!” and the hurting heart looks for greener pastures. What if the road you’re on isn’t about enduring the pain but about the direction your going?  What if the road that is causing discomfort is actually leading you to a place of rest and happiness?  If you knew, would you still choose another? … I wouldn’t.  I will press on, one step at a time; leaning to help another by cupping their foots burden in the palm of my hand … listening as they tell of their journey … and wash with the Word mingled with stories of my path.


We wash because it is what Father has done and taught us to do … we wash because we will never stop walking, we will never stop being on a road going somewhere.  We wash because when we reach through cloudy water, we see we are not alone.  When we see the dirt of another, we see their journey as something of value and lessons learned … we wash the feet of those who are tired of walking, giving them a place of rest and release of earthly burden.


“ . . . wash one another’s feet.”    






November 9, 2015