Tuesday, June 26, 2012

summer feet

i have decided that after a long day in flip flops, there are few sweeter things than washing my dirty, dusty feet.

i took sam for a walk yesterday, and gave my feet a quick swipe with a cloth when we came in.  but just before sinking into bed, i really scrubbed and cleaned my filthy, tired feet with care.  and it felt like a full-body massage.  blissful. 

i sank into bed almost purring.

no wonder Jesus showed love to his disciples by washing their feet, and told them to do the same to each other. 

i know people like to see it as a metaphor for encouragement, but i think i might just take the literal meaning over the figurative here.

is there something invasive - almost too personal - in that?  in greeting your friend with a basin of water, removing the shoes, washing the day-long dirt away?  but what better way to bring rest, refreshment, comfort? 

there's something in me that cringes at the thought of being the one washed - of having someone else know the callouses, the creases of dust ground in by sandal straps, the water muddying all-too-quickly.

but there's something in that that binds us closer together, isn't there, in being known?  the freedom of it, and then the grace - the sweet grace! - of being washed and clean and refreshed.

i love that Jesus washed their feet.   those hairy, smelly, dirty man-feet. 

he is just right.

8 comments:

  1. Haha my husband won't touch feet! He even said I have nice feet! But I can't get him to come near them. Oh how I long for a good foot massage...

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    1. some people are really creeped out by feet! it's how i feel about eyeballs - the thought of touching them makes my stomach heave. :)

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  2. I love this post. I love the sentiment behind it, but I also love that my feet were tingling as I read it because I know exactly the feeling you mean. Washing feet after a long, dirty day literally makes me feel new again :)

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    1. isn't it the best feeling ever? foot scrub and a silky lotion - i die of happiness.

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  3. What an interesting point to bring up! That reminds me of when I spent the weekend at a required sleep-away camp (we had to hang out with some monks before we'd be allowed to get our confirmations).

    One of the tasks they had us do was wash each other's feet. This was very uncomfortable for everyone, and very strange, and it didn't get any better when we did it. Yes, you're right - too personal. But there was a girl who literally screamed and cried because she didn't want to do it - she had a foot phobia. I'm so not kidding. Seeing out naked feet made her hyperventilate and she had to be excused from the task (they gave all of us a hard time that weekend).

    So, from that experience, I think that it could be restful and comforting if you do it for someone who you know. A stranger's feet? Not so much :O

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    1. i have to say, that sounds totally unpleasant! can't imagine doing that with strangers, and not because you want to but because you have to - *shudder*

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  4. I have to say, I love that Bible story about washing feet, even though, like you said, I'm sure it was stinky and smelly and hairy and dusty and altogether kinda gross. I don't have pretty feet myself (they're long and bony), so I'd feel for anyone who had to wash them for me.

    That being said, when I was in junior high, my family and I went camping. We decided to make s'mores, and I went and dropped my fiery, gelatinous marshmallow on my foot. I got a bad burn, and came home with a very sore foot. My mom sat me down on the couch and cleaned it for me, with a bowl of cold water, and ohhhhh. It felt so good. It feels very loving, maybe because feet are something you normally don't touch. Foot-washing and hair-tousling go together in my mind as two things people SHOULDN'T be doing for me, but I love it when they do, haha.

    I once heard a story of a groom who, at his wedding reception, escorted his new bride to the middle of the room and washed her feet in front of their wedding guests. That story always makes me want to sob.

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    1. oh, that's really beautiful! it's such an intimate, loving thing to do - your mom, cleaning your feet, and the groom w/ his bride. when i was younger, on long car-rides i would slide one foot up onto the front-seat passenger armrest from the back, and my mom would rub my feet. she always had the coolest, smoothest hands and i remember being lulled to sleep by the peacefulness of her touch. :) moms are the best!

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