Pass it on
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Jesus came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"
Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."
"No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet."
Jesus replied, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."
"Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!"
Enthusiasm. Peter had plenty of that. He did so much with his whole self. He threw himself into things.
But he didn't understand this gift of Jesus very well. He should have been washing Jesus feet. Jesus was the master; Jesus was Lord. Jesus had earned the right to be served. And that was that. He didn't need to be turning the tables like this.
Jesus gave him no choice. Peter might have been uncomfortable, but he raised his feet to Jesus' hands. How important was this moment to the days thereafter? Endless awful days when he threw himself one way and then the other, defending Jesus, then denying him, doubting himself, doubting Jesus ... all the time feeling Jesus' hands on his feet, washing off the dirt, gently drying them, making them precious.
I do so much wrong ... and Jesus only notices that my feet need to be washed. My thoughts fly everywhere, my words don't express much of what I think, and I communicate less respect than I feel, less love than I feel. I have to live with regret and disappointment in myself and others every day.
And Jesus just washes my feet again!
Gradually I will get the idea. I won't get so distracted by the small stuff. And everything is small stuff. If I let Jesus love me, then I'll begin ever-so-slowly to love me too, and love you. More and more I'll do what matters.
I'll wash your feet.
The water is cool and my skin is hot, Lord. Your hands are soft and my feet are hard. At the end of the day like this, Lord, you know just how to love me. And I am learning so much from you, so that I can do it too.