Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Foot Thing

~Tracy Frederick

I admit it; I have a problem with feet. I really don’t like them. I mean, I know they are necessary, but, well, I am embarrassed by my feet and have super ticklish feet to the point that the thought of having a pedicure or someone touch my feet sends me in a panic. Friends have invited me to outings for pedicures and I always find an excuse.  I rarely wear sandals and am usually the one in the midst of summer wearing winter socks and shoes.  In fact, my husband will tell you that if he accidentally touches my feet in my sleep, I will jump and move them. There are a lot of reasons behind my foot creeps, but I don’t think I am alone in this. I’ve had conversations with other women and usually it doesn’t take much for them to start telling their story about their crooked toes or some such issue with their feet. Maybe that is why we like to pedicure them and polish the toe nails. That is, we just feel the need to dress them up so they don’t look so…well…feety?  So, recently when my husband and I were discussing Jesus washing the disciple’s feet, we had lots to discuss. Our elders are involved in the Kidsing program and they are now working on the “John card” You will recall that in chapter 13 Jesus washes the apostles feet.  My husband said he remembers this chapter easily because it was “unlucky number 13” and how unlucky can someone get to wash someone’s feet? I have thought much about my own aversion to feet and how much I would hate to wash someone’s feet, especially in the situation that they were in where the feet were dirty after much walking on the dirt roads. As I have been meditating on the humbleness of our Lord when He washed another’s feet, I have considered what it would be like to see my Lord get on His knees and take off my nasty shoes and tenderly care for my feet, my disgusting feet. This humble attitude is exemplified so well in Jesus’ “unlucky” act of washing the apostle’s feet. We might consider that these were Jesus’ closest followers. They had walked many miles with Him; were the chosen few. They were even asked to go with Him and bring Him comfort in His final hours. They were those closest to our Savior.
Recently my husband and I have discussed how we have noticed many who treat their friends better than their spouses. I have thought about that a lot lately. Perhaps we make a special meal for someone who is coming for dinner and spruce up the house, or maybe we buy something special for our friend while out shopping, but neglect thinking about our husband, the one we are closest to.  Maybe we feel that we don’t need to do something special because he is our husband. He is supposed to love us, care for us, and take care of our physical needs…even die for us if necessary, Ephesians 5, right? He is supposed to love me even as Christ loves the church.
I have been wondering lately if I give my husband reasons to love me, to take care of me, to die for me. In short, I am not so sure I am caring for my husband’s feet. I try to help, encourage and do for others, but perhaps I am not as good about looking at my own man’s feet. Some might argue and say: “Does he wash your feet?” What has he done for you that show he deserves his feet washed?”  But, that really isn’t the point, is it? You know, Jesus didn’t wash the disciples’ feet because they washed His. Jesus didn’t wash their feet because they had brought Him gifts, or had done something special for Him. In fact, if you think about it, they never brought Him anything. Sadly, when He performed this act, He knew they would abandon Him in His hour of need, He knew, as He washed Judas’ feet that Judas would betray Him (John 13:11). He did it anyway (“Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” John 13:1 NKJ). He did it because it was needed. He did it because He loved them. He did it to teach them, and us, how to love, really love.  
I have a foot problem, and wish I were more like those women who wear the pretty sandals and have the toenails painted; I just can’t. In fact, I’ve had many funny conversations lately with a friend and sister about toes and our foot issues. But lately when I look at others feet, I am beginning to consider more carefully my husband’s feet that he puts into those dirty, almost worn out boots that he laces up tight each and every day as he leaves our home before sunrise to provide for my needs. Those feet must be tired and very dirty ( he is a land surveyor by trade). His job means he is on his feet all day. I realize that the account of our Savior washing His disciple’s feet doesn’t mean we literally have to wash feet (so happy about that), but the idea is still that we should humble ourselves in service to others, even those in our home that we love the most and may even take for granted every day. I think it is time I get down on my knees. I bet my dear sweet husband could use a good foot washing.

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