12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
To wash the feet of others may not be what society considers serving in the year 2016, however in biblical times it was an act ones servant would do when guest where invited in. Jesus preforms it as a symbolic gesture of serving one humbly and unconditionally. He was setting an example not only for his disciples but for us today. What was considered a lowly human task the son of God himself did so from love.
I began to question what are some ways to serve others in my life. How can I "wash" their feet? And then the thought that spoke swiftly to my heart.... "Do I truly serve those in need with unconditionally love and humble myself ?"
* Listening when I'd rather just fix the problem.
* Lending a helping hand when I feel like I am the one who needs help.
* Telling God to use me when I'd rather be rescued.
* Giving when I doubt I have anything left to give.
* Comforting by being a flicker of light in the darkness of others.
Truly serving others can be difficult. It can be painful and uncomfortable as we are moved from our own needs and comfort zone. Many ,because of our own fleshy desires ,want to be front and center. We want to be on the receiving end instead of the giving side. Giving is work and sometimes the work is grueling labor mixed with blood, sweat and tears. But the ever so sweet side is when the one we are helping, the one who needs us to serve them, the one whose needs are greater than our own, witness the love of Christ through the hands of his children. For as long as I can remember I have asked God to use me as an instrument of his love; for others to see Him in me.
However, not once, when I have asked did I realize that in doing so I would have moments, days or even seasons of serving that would be hard in the flesh; a period of time when the difficulties would out weigh the comforts and the struggles seem to be never unending. When I am called to help others, I find myself looking at my circumstances and realize by helping others, I am helping myself. And the reality proves my situation isn't as bad as I believed it to be.
Serving ( washing feet) has taught me to see the good in every situation; to hope , to believe, and to trust in the plans my daddy God has not only for me but those I am serving. I have been shown time and time again no one is exempt from times of hardship and no one, absolutely no one is greater than the next. We all have our seasons of suffering but it is in those seasons if we choose to look at others and not our selves, we can see the love of our daddy God working in our own lives.
In the recent events surrounding those I know and love I see many hands of our daddy God reaching out and serving those who have lost all that they have owned. Many have no homes of their own to go to, no beds to lay their weary heads down, no clothes to wear, no shoes to cover their feet and yet in spite of their own losses, they continue to reach out to others in their time of need. They shed their own tears in the solitude of God's grace and smile in the noise of chaos. They each in their own right have shown hope, grace, love and attitudes that echo " We will overcome!!"
I have been blessed to see first hand others "washing feet" in spite of the hurdles they themselves are enduring. Each has done so with a precious love, a sweet humbleness and not a word of complaint. Instead of crying over what they have lost in turn their words have been ones of compassion; inquiring what others need from them instead of what they themselves need.( Brings me back to "lending a hand when I feel like I am the one who needs help." )
As I long to always be His humbled messenger whose heart spills the unconditional love of my daddy God, I pray when I am called to wash the feet of those in need, I am able to listen, lend, be useful, give, comfort and be the example Jesus taught us how to be when He washed the feet of his disciples.
"Wash their feet" He says.
I will Lord...........