August Reflections – Foot Washing

The first day of our vacation was jam packed with activity. By the end of it, my 10 year old acted particularly 10ish. 

My husband pulled her aside and asked her to take a time out until she could return acting more compassionate. After about 10 minutes she came into our hotel living room with a wet washcloth.
“Mom, can I wash your feet?”
Uhhh, are they dirty? I asked.
“Not really. I just thought you’d like your feet washed and a foot massage.”
“Oooookayyy,” I leerily replied.
In youth ministry, a popular group bonding activity is to wash each others feet – modeling what Jesus did for his disciples when he took the role of a servant as recorded in John 13:1-17. 
Yuck. I hated doing this. It grossed me out.
Of course, when I led a high school youth group, I couldn’t tell them that it grossed me out. Otherwise, they would have tried to get out of doing it. I took the stance of “leader watching to make sure everyone else had the foot washing thing down.”
But really, eww.
(And if you are one of my former youth group kids, hey – I’m sorry. And now that you are in your 20’s and 30’s you can lead your groups however you want. But really, eww.)
Somehow, though, when it was my child asking to care for my feet, I wasn’t repulsed. I was touched. 
Instantly I thought of Jesus. One night he was the guest of honor at dinner. Can you imagine what his friends thought when the meal was served, he got up from his place, put a towel around his waist, grabbed a wash basin and begin washing feet?
This was a slave’s job. 
When he finished he said to his buddies,

“Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life. (John 13:12-17 The Message)

I saw Jesus in my 10 year old daughter. She wished to show compassion and service. She did so by washing my feet. She didn’t think it was gross. She knew it was love.
Related Posts:

July Reflections – This is ME.
June Reflections – Kids serving without me

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