I was clipping my toenails this evening.
I know. Lovely imagery.
Every once in a while, I like to meditate on the humanity of Jesus by imagining Him doing whatever I’m doing at the moment. It helps me feel closer to Him. So, naturally, I asked myself:
“Would Jesus Christ have ever given Himself a pedi?”
And I came to the theological conclusion that He must have. Maybe not exactly the way I did tonight. But some form of foot care is not outside the realm of probability. It surely falls under the heading of personal hygiene and self-care, and would go along with things like feeding Himself, watering Himself, sleeping and bathing… I don’t think I’ve ever known a man who didn’t clip his toenails. So yes, I concluded. Such a daily, mundane task. And yet it would not be, except literally, beneath Him.
Not only His own feet, I recalled, but also His disciples’. I sat there scrubbing the dead skin off my toes, trying to imagine how yucky the foot must be of a gnarly fisherman who’s been walking hot, dirt roads all day. In sandals. And I thought of my two little boys who sometimes come in from the backyard, hair sticking with sweat to their faces, feet black with dirt. Toe jam is probably one of the worst smells in the world. Lol. It’s such a wretched concoction of dirt, death, and strife.
It’s not uncommon for people to be a little weird about their feet. I know several people who have a quiet rule that no one is allowed to touch that part of them. It’s such a funny part of our bodies. Sort of awkward-looking when you really take a look at them: the point of contact for all the mess we walk ourselves into. It’s the part that gets the smelliest, sometimes the dirtiest, sometimes the sweatiest. And there is a general agreement that this one part of each of us is usually in an icky state and we shall all respect a generous personal space around the feet of others. There are even cultures where showing the bottom of your foot to someone is actually a sign of disrespect. Curious, then, isn’t it, that God chose the humble foot for a powerful metaphor?
Oh, Jesus. That You, the God of Glory, would meet us in the muck and filth and toe jam of life. And You don’t just throw us a line, or offer a large branch for us to try to pull ourselves out with while You cover Your nose with a hanky. No.
You dove down low to save us.
You lowered Yourself to become one of us.
You even, literally, stripped down – taking on servanthood – to wash our feet, our pain, our hearts.
And like Peter, we all shrink back.
“My FEET? Lord, really? Couldn’t You wash my hair… or my hands instead? Those parts of me aren’t that bad.”
And You, God incarnate, lower Yourself before us with a basin and say, no. The feet are what really need washing.
In fact, if we don’t let You wash us, You say, “I can have nothing to do with you.”
How humbling. Truly.
To just LAY BARE before the Lord Jesus all the caked dirt and muck and stinky places in my heart! But He wants it! He wants us to let Him into all those awkward, embarrassing places. He wants our messy, mucky truth.
He’s holding a towel and He’s ready.
For more of Charity Chain, head over to her blog at charitychainblog.wordpress.com