Growing up in the north, where snow and ice mixed with dirt and sand was tracked inside each time you entered, we quickly learned that whenever you enter a house you remove your shoes. In the doorway, there seemed to always be piles of shoes and a puddle of muddy water.
In ancient days, their custom was to wash off the dirt and dust when you entered someone’s home. This tradition would send a servant scurrying to fill a basin of water, gird a towel around their waste and kneel in front of the guests to cleanse their traveled feet. According to history, this was considered an extremely menial task performed by a servant.
The Bible tells us of a time when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. In fact when he first began to kneel before his disciples, they objected. As usual, Jesus used this opportunity to teach not only them but every generation since. Feet washing was significant. Jesus chose the most menial of jobs for his time to demonstrate to us, our place in the world. He said I set the example, now you follow my example. Serve others. Washing feet is about service, the perfect example, set by Jesus Christ, lived out in the lives of those who choose to know Him and make Him known.
Check out the book of John, chapter 13 in the Bible.
Jesus turned the world upside down. He said when someone smacks you, turn the other cheek, someone takes your coat, give them your shirt too. He instructed us to take care of the widow and orphan, the sick, destitute and poor. He said love your enemies. Is there anything remotely reasonable about loving your enemies? Still it’s in there. Can loving others the way Jesus loved us even be possible? I hope so. I believe so. I know so. We are to love others like he loves us. We are to think about others before ourselves. We are suppose to ask “How may I help you?” Some say it this way: “be the hands and feet of Jesus.”
Me? The me quite oblivious to the needs of others? I am guilty of complaining about my minivan not having the latest features, my four bedroom home feeling cramped, and my local restaurant wait time exceeding my patience after a few short minutes.
Shallow comes to mind.
I live with immeasurable blessings. I am loved. I am warm, clothed, and full. I have a house I call home and I share that home with a great husband and awesome sons. In this middle class, American life I have luxury most of this world will never see. I can and have looked the other way when face to face with the needs of people in my neighborhood, community and world.
I wrestle with this. This posture of servitude that goes against the grain of me. How can I wash feet? How can I be what he needs me to be?
I have a house to clean and children to feed,
Job responsibilities, Projects, Bills.
But that’s just it. Every act, if done as unto the Lord, is an act of service. The little things, the everyday, the unnoticed, dutiful, routine, and ordinary can all be a shout out to Jesus. YES! I choose Yes. Today, right now. Right where I am. I choose to see the need and respond as He did. In the small things and in the impossible.
Washing feet is serving. And serving is just as much about wiping the runny nose of our child for the umpteen time, as it is caring for the poor and marginalized in impoverished nations. Both serve Him. Both are done without expectation.
You will get to know me. You will see a lot of the everyday routine and the ordinary experiences of a stay at home mom with three kids. Hopefully, you will find encouragement and inspiration, but most importantly, you will join this water basin movement to serve others!
Let’s explore the heroes and heroines who refuse to look the other way when they see injustice in this world. Let’s hear their stories but let’s also explore what we can do when we don’t mind getting down in the dirt ourselves. How can we serve those in our families, our neighborhoods, and our world?
It has been suggested to start with the person nearest you. Start with the small things but do them with great love. We can help. We can make a difference!