John 13:4-5 “He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.”
John 13:12-17 “So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”
Today’s passage brought me to the above passages in John 13. Have you ever thought about these verses before and how it applies to your life? The feet (okay, especially if you go barefoot or wear sandals on the dirt! ;o)) are usually the dirtiest part of your body. Yet, our Lord and Master got a towel, a basin filled with water, knelt down and washed his disciples feet…His servants feet! Why? As an example to show us that nothing and noone is too low for us! We are to serve one another, in love, just as He our Master, served us!
This really touched me. He taught us to serve with our whole heart…and to serve the least of these. Do we truly serve like this? When it comes to the “dirty” aspects of life, are we willing to lovingly, give them our all? Are we willing to stoop down and lovingly wash the feet of another, or are we just willing to wash their hands? Are we willing to go to another’s house and stoop down and clean their toilets or floors? Or just their sinks and dishes?
Are we willing to serve just the “wealthy”…or are we willing to serve the poor, those out of the streets who haven’t had a shower in over a month? Are we willing to stop by the ones on the street and invite them in for a hot meal or shower? Are we honestly willing to serve the least of these, my brethren? Or do we, when we see them (or smell them coming!), change to a different side of the street/isle in the store to avoid them?
What about our sick loved ones? Are we willing to tenderly care for them and clean up after them when they get sick? Sisters, are we truly serving with our whole heart, knowing nothing and noone is below us? Do we truly treat others better than ourselves? Every single person?
I know this passage was challenging for me! It’s easy for me to serve…most of the time. But where I struggle is not looking down on the dirty, unwashed, person. I see those living out on the street, who okay, haven’t showered or changed their clothes in quite awhile from the smells of things…and my first response is to put distance between us. I know I don’t treat them like I would another who was clean. It’s honestly repulsive to me. But is that what Yahshua taught us? He stooped down and served even these precious people with unconditional love.
It reminds me of when I had the absolute privilege of serving some prostitute girls, living out on the streets. I knew it would be hard, but I wanted to with all my heart, and I don’t regret a single minute with them! I knew the only way to help myself overcome this, was to jump in with both feet and truly serve them and love them, unconditionally, looking past everything. As I walked near that section of the city where the ministry was held, everything within me told me not to breathe. It was bad. Really bad. I can still smell it. But I remember asking Yahweh for grace and strength to keep going. They needed to know that they were loved with an unconditional love, too! I didn’t speak their language well at all, and so communication was exceedingly hard, but as I wondered how I could serve them, Yahweh brought to my mind that I do know how to massage. It’s a gift He’s given me and I just really felt like it would be one way of showing them His love, even though I couldn’t really talk to them. I thanked Yahweh for the idea and went to go talk to the leader about it.
I smile as I think back to their response. The lady in charge told me that she thought they’d love it and then translated for me, letting them know if they wanted a massage, that I would love to give them one. This ministry offered them a shower, a warm meal, and a place to sleep…off of the streets…even if only for a couple of hours. They had people there praying. People talking to them about the gospel, administering medical treatment, etc. They were truly loving them and it was beautiful! So beautiful!!!
These girls ate it up! They loved it. I could tell that they truly looked forward to this day when they knew they’d be loved…truly loved…just for who they were! As I massaged one after the other, they would fall into a peaceful sleep or smile and thank me. It’s when I realized that most people probably turned their noses up to them, ignoring them, or looking down on them, avoiding them like the plague so to speak…like I often did when faced with such poverty and lifestyles. Yet, because of unconditional love, these girls are giving their lives to their Saviour and trying to change and come off the streets! Talk about conviction 101!
Sisters, do we show His love, as we should, to all those He has cross our paths? Do we truly serve like we should? Like He taught us? Are we willing to touch the lives of the poorest on earth? To stoop down and wash their feet? Could you imagine how this could touch their life?
And although for me personally, this is where the challenge comes into play…what about you? I know that even just washing someones feet, is often repulsive for some. Where do you struggle with serving? Where do you struggle serving someone as though you were the servant, they the Master? Is it cleaning a dirty toilet or barn? Or???
Pray and ask Yahweh to help you serve and love like His Son served and loved us and taught us to do the same! You will be so blessed if you do! Go past your comfort zone into the uncomfortable places! You will be so surprised at the rewards you will get when you do!
I can not tell you how much I miss these girls and how much I look forward to showing back up one day, smiling and telling them “I’m back…line up!”! Once I was able to put my comfort aside and think about them and only them, it was incredible! Yahweh taught me so much! And He continues to help me be willing to go beyond my comfort zones…which I’m learning is where He generally is! :o) So I challenge you…try it! :o) Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty for Him. He did for us!! :o)