You want to wash my what?
You want to wash my what?
© Lori Berndt 2006
She had attended services there maybe three times when they decided to form a women’s ministry. It sounded interesting enough. A group of women meeting once a month to discuss God, their faith, life issues and what cookies they would donate for the next bake sale. They would be helpful to younger women new to the faith. They would help raise money with their bazaars and rummage sales. Yes, interesting indeed. She needed something to distract her from her problems. Maybe this was the answer.
How blinking could possibly help you hear better she didn’t know but she tried it again. Nope she still didn’t hear right. “We are going to do what?” she silently screamed to herself. Maybe if she slightly adjusted her head a little into a more tilted position. Nope! Still didn’t help. “Stay open minded!” she kept telling herself. How bad could this be?
She sat on the edge of the bathtub and slowly leaned forward to peer over her knees. There they were. Attached to her ankles like to boats moored to a dock. She gave her toes a wiggle. What was she going to do? What would they think? She had been teased all of her life about the size of her feet. “Need oars with those?” she heard her father echo over and over again. “Oh, what have you gotten me into this time?” she silently prayed. A sigh escaped her as she reached for the clippers. A complete overhaul was definitely in order!
They had drawn names. Seemed fair at the time. Slips of paper. A hat. Close your eyes. Draw a name. But she had drawn “her name”. “Her name” was Nancy. Nancy just happened to be the pastors’ wife. And the pastors’ wife was going to wash her feet.
They had a light luncheon beforehand. Just sandwiches and cookies. Her trepidation at the near future seemed to suck the life right out of her taste buds. Voices echoed in her head. Sounds she didn’t quite hear. A silent prayer repeated in her head.
One of the ladies stood. Lunch was finishing. The lady was reading scripture. Matthew 13:16. She was reading about Jesus. About humbling ourselves. How Jesus must have lovingly and gently spoke to each disciple about His love for them. But, how were we to tell the person whose feet we were washing how we felt about them when we hardly knew them?
She could feel the life drain from her body as she removed her shoes. The pastors wife was about to hold her feet, her naked feet in her hands. How close would she look? How would her feet smell? Were they soft enough? Were her toes to long and crooked? Or where they just to ugly?
They sat across from each other. She on the chair and Nancy kneeling before her. She slowly slid one foot into the cool water and stopped breathing. She opened her eyes as she felt the kindness of Nancy’s hand envelope her foot. She looked into Nancy’s beautiful blue eyes and they continued to pull her deeper in. The world stopped turning. Time stood still. All the cares of the world disappeared. It was just her and the pastors’ wife. “I love you.” Nancy said. “I love you with the Grace that our Father has given me. I appreciate you for who you are, a child of God, my sister, a woman, and a mother. We have a bond, you and I, which God alone can break.”
Tears fell down her face as Nancy spoke. Never once did she think about her feet. For Nancy gently caressed her feet for the next 30 minutes and soothed her soul for a lifetime.
Wounds were healed that day. A sharing of the deepest of love. Sharing their darkness as well as their light in their hands. They accepted both. For sacred wounds are just preludes to sacred healings.
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When expressing the matters of the heart; it's sad that all we have are words and too few to come close to heart of the matter. However, in this, your article, I've read an article by one who has been gifted to overcome the obstacle of "only words" and communicated on a level that is refreshing, challenging and heaven-sent. I applaud you!!