Washing Feet

Evidently toenail fungus is a serious problem in our world today. I had no idea, until I got an email from Groupon telling me I could get my toenail fungus removed for only $200. Not that I have any. But you might.

And, by the way, if you have this problem, I mean no disrespect. It just sounds gross. And kind of funny. But, I understand, it’s not if you have it. Or if your spouse has it. I’m not saying that my spouse has it. In fact, she doesn’t, just to be clear. Now I’m probably going to get it.

But anyways, my point is…what was it? Oh yeah, that feet can be messed up. They can get dirty and dusty and even infected. They come in contact with the floor of the world. And that’s in a society where we actually wear shoes. What about places where people don’t wear anything on their feet, or very little, like people in Jesus’ day, or lots of places in the world today? Most roads were dirt paths, and most floors were dirt. Like the “bathroom” in Kenya that I was shown when I said I needed to go to the “bathroom.” It was a large square of dirt, with walls made of sticks. I decided I didn’t “need to go” as badly as I’d thought.

Even in a hyper-fashion-conscious culture like ours, we still don’t focus on feet. We focus on shoes, to be sure. My wife has a lot of shoes. Fewer than when we got married, but still a lot. More than you could possibly wear in a lifetime. But I’m getting off the subject again. Feet by themselves are still not sexy. No celebrity is known for their feet. They’re just there, standing there, holding us up. The tires of the body.

So guess what body part Jesus picked when he asked us to love one another? “Love one another” sounds pretty nice, until you actually start doing it. Especially when you’re thrown in together with people you didn’t pick, people who just walked through the kingdom door because Jesus invited them. And they have all this baggage from their past, not to mention the stupid choices they continue to make and the dirt they walk through every day. Not to mention the junk I manage to accumulate in my foolish life. But Jesus said, “wash each other’s feet.” Hmmm. Not my first choice. And it’s hard to wash someone’s feet while you’re standing up, acting cool. You pretty much have to get down on the floor, where you could get yourself dirty, for goodness sake. Couldn’t Jesus have come up with another metaphor, like “give people colorful hats?” It’d be much more dignified, and it doesn’t require hardly any humility or effort or time or … love.

– Steve