Washing Grubby Feet


Photo Credit: www.tirzavandijk.nl
Photo Credit: www.tirzavandijk.nl

Happy Easter Friends!

This was a memorable Easter for me. Dustin and I attended the Maundy Thursday service at our church. It’s been an interesting development for me as a Christ-follower because I never celebrated this day. In fact, NONE of the churches I attended had a service dedicated to this day. So, the last few years we’ve been learning about Maundy Thursday and what it means. Basically, Maundy Thursday is the day when Jesus and his disciples went to the upper room and had communion and he washed their feet. (And yes, even some Christians think it’s strange that we do this)

Maundy is Latin. It comes from mandatum, which means “command.”

Washing My Husband’s Feet. It’s Awkward As It Sounds.

We were asked to serve and as most things go at Mosaic, our church,  (on the fly) we found out once we arrived we may be needed to wash feet. Now, the whole thing is awkward. Anyone who tells you different has either 1.) been doing it a long time or 2.) isn’t aware of social norms in the 21rst century!

You’re on your knees. You’re touching someone’s (you may not know) feet. You’re not sure if you should scrub it, rub it, or go in-between the toes. It’s vulnerable and sacred and scary all at the same time. 

So, we embraced the command and followed in Jesus’ footsteps and washed others feet. Men on one side, women on the other. We pour water over the feet, rub it a bit, and then dry it with a fresh towel. It’s all very hygienic and you don’t have to worry about the man in the back with athlete’s foot since we don’t share water. It takes a minute or two. Getting your feet washed is just as humbling as washing. It’s a very special moment.

I didn’t get a chance to wash anyones feet at first because all the women were doing one another’s. Dustin, on the other hand, was on his knees at the first pew washing from the beginning. It was a very special thing to watch him serve his brothers in Christ and reflect Jesus. At the end, I felt as if I should wash his feet, a prodding from the Holy Spirit. It’s a strange feeling and I’ll be honest: I didn’t want to do it. I touch his feet all the time (rubbing them, laying on the couch, etc) but it was awkward. I still knew it was important and would be a very special way to pray over him and  humble myself.

So, we washed each other’s feet.

It was a super sweet moment. One I will never forget. To follow in the footsteps of our Father and submit to one another in love. Phenomenal. I prayed prayers as I touched his feet. God, give him strength. Give him Hope. Give him more and more love for you. Before long, we switched and he washed my feet. It was a very intimate moment.

I had a good understanding of washing feet before engaging in this symbolic ritual, but others may not.

Photo Credit: twitter.com/JamiesonWeaver
Photo Credit: twitter.com/JamiesonWeaver

Why Do We Wash Each Other’s Feet As Believers?

Today, as I was reading my devotional, I was shocked to come across the passage where Jesus washes the disciples feet. Now, I do a devotional at random. It’s not a date specified book and is a book about prayer. It’s Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore. When I came across this section, I was encouraged. God knows I needed a reminder again about why we wash feet.

The passage can be found in John 13. If you take the time to read it, (and I encourage you to do so) it paints the story of Jesus washing his best friends and confidant’s feet. It says “he loved them to the end(John 13:1)” and “knew that the Father has put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God. (13:1)”

It was a simple process. He “poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”

Ok, so, Jesus did this. Why do we? He was doing this with his disciples, why do I need to do it for others and my family? The answer is in verse 14.

“Now, that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

Washing feet is a symbol. It’s not just about washing feet. It’s about humbling yourself both ways and allowing someone to serve you or serving another in a very real, raw, awkward way. It’s about putting someone before yourself.

We can wash other’s feet everyday without picking up a basin of water. Simply by putting others needs in front of your own is obeying this command.

Today, while I make the bed, mix up some lunch, or kiss my husband I’m reminded that I can wash his feet and humble myself like Jesus without physically washing his feet every day. Who in your life can you serve and put before yourself?

Love & Laughter,


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