Either in church or when we read the Bible we have been exposed to the story when Jesus washed the disciples feet. Jesus came not only to save the world but to serve people. Washing the disciples feet was symbolic of his servant-hood to man. As the story is played out you may start to think, “That is great Jesus thanks for pointing that out to us. Really enjoyed the demonstration” but then He says,”Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” – John 13:14-15 (NIV) WHAT?!? Are you serious?
When Jesus tells you to do something it is a must, not a option. So then what does washing other people’s feet look like. Do I go around to everyone I know and ask them to wash their feet. Should we have a service just for washing one another’s feet? What if they don’t want their foot washed. Is this literal or symbolic? And on and on the questions come in my mind. I kind of left it alone to be honest. I did attend a service once where we washed each other’s feet but it didn’t seem like we fulfilled what Jesus was telling us to do. It actually felt pretty awkward.
It wasn’t until I was spending time with the Lord recently that it all made sense. I had been having difficulty in a relationship. I didn’t know how to resolve it. I didn’t know which way to go and it felt like there was nothing I could really do to fix it. I went to God one morning about it, to seek His council and advice. I sat on God’s lap and asked Him what should I do? He popped up my friend next to me on His lap and started telling me how broken the person was. I felt this urge to wash their feet. The person and I were all of a sudden on the ground. They were sitting in a chair and I was at their feet with a basin and cloth in my hand. I felt joy overflowing in me with each scrub. I went from their calves to their ankles to their toes. I saw their toe nails were long, chipped, and unkept. I felt the need to clip and file each one down to the proper size, so I did. The joy that filled my heart washed over my whole body. I began to feel a love that had been buried deep in my heart for this person. I longed to do whatever it took to love on them.
In that moment of longing God transported me from washing their feet to me standing and watching different scenarios that happened in the person’s life that damaged them that no one else really knew about. The Lord had me pray healing, deliverance, truth every time He popped a different situation up. Each circumstance needed a different prayer.
When it was all done I felt something had changed. I sensed a healing happen in their heart. And it clicked in my head that by me praying for them and loving on them I was washing their feet. I was serving them. The unkept nails was their brokenness and lack of knowledge on how to take care of themselves inwardly. The feet represented what the world did not see because feet are hidden by shoes. Or in this case it was situations that happened in the person life that left them broken (which the world could not see) and unable to know how to heal inwardly (which was represented by the lack of care for their toe nails). God used my prayers to start the healing process. WOW!!!!
I finally learned what washing feet really look like. It is serving one another in love. That can look like praying for someone. It can look like when you are grocery shopping getting an extra of everything you buy and giving it to someone in need. It can be driving someone to the store who cannot go on their own. It can look like taking a friends child to school or after-school activities. It can be making a meal for some one who is busy or just had a baby or whatever. Washing people’s feet is truly being a servant to those around you. In my case it was praying healing for a friend who is hurting and broken and needing restoration. It really is that simple.
Jesus is our greatest example of how to love our neighbor as ourselves. King Jesus didn’t come to the earth to be served (which He totally could have done) he came to give his life as a ransom for many and to serve. He is asking us: to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbor as ourselves. To serve God and serve those around us.
So now I ask you whose feet do you need to wash?