I am thinking about feet. My feet often demand that I think of them. Short wide feet with high insteps and high arches, my feet often scream for attention. But it’s not my feet that I am thinking about. I am thinking of the feet I washed last night.
I can’t tell you if the feet were in good condition or if these feet hurt. I can’t even tell you if the nails were painted. I know the feet were soft. I knew that I had to treat those feet as though they were beloved. Because those feet were beloved. Because those feet reminded me of other feet.
Blistered. Callused. Feet used for transporting a body everywhere that body needs to go. Feet that do not have clean socks every day. Feet that are covered in shoes that do not necessarily fit properly. Feet that are wet in rain, cold in winter, sweaty in summer. Imagine.
When I go to Sedona AZ, I walk a great deal. I hike to the vortexes, along the red dusty paths that lead to big red rocks. My black sandals are no longer black; my feet no longer tan. Both are covered in a fine red dust that does not brush away easily. This makes me think of what feet must have looked like in Jesus’ time. Dusty. Dirty. Tired. Responsible for carrying the weight of a person’s life upon them.
Feet are important. Between Tuesday and Thursday of this past week, I walked 25,935 steps, an average of 8,645 steps on each day. That was simply to and fro, back and forth, going nowhere but doing many things. (one of many privileges, my iPhone health app)
How many steps did Jesus walk between the beginning of his ministry in Galilee and that cross at Golgotha? Approximately 106 miles if one walks straight from Capernaum to Jerusalem, but he didn’t. He went into Samaria and crossed over into Judea beyond the Jordan and other points between here and there
Thinking of Jesus walking makes me think of some of the guys from the pantry I know who walk everywhere. Often they are walking to and fro, between one meal and the next, into one area and crossing over into and beyond another. I have seen their feet. I have given out a pair of socks and bandaids in a too meager attempt to ease the burden of those poor, sore feet. Swollen, red, painful.
I wished I had thought of these feet sooner. I wish I had washed these feet on Maundy Thursday. I wish I had warm water and soft towels, clean socks and more bandaids, lotion and soothing balms.