Thursday, November 17, 2005

Jesus' feet

I admit it's weird, but I am obsessed with Jesus' feet.

I think about them when I pray, sometimes. I think about Mary, sister of Martha, sitting at them, then, later, scandalously, washing his feet with her nard...drying them with her hair. I think of John, who said he wasn't worthy to tie the thong of Jesus' sandal. And all the healed and saved, falling at his feet to worship him.

In real life, I am not such a huge foot fan. Not that I don't like them, but I have never been that interested. But something about feet and Jesus. I love, for example, that on Maundy Thursday, the priests in the Anglican church line up a bunch of congregants and have them take off their shoes and socks and take a basin and wash, dry and kiss their feet. At one time, evidently, they would find homeless or very poor people for the footwashing ritual. That would be much more impressive than a bunch of upper middle class white people, who, I am sure, carefully washed their own feet before coming to church that evening.

When I facilitated a discussion of Marcus Borg's "Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time" at my former UU church, I had this crazy idea to end the series with a foot washing. I wanted people to think about what it would be like to wash Jesus' feet. I wanted people to imagine that as they knelt at the feet of their friend, he or she was actually kneeling at Jesus' feet. And later, as a friend was washing their feet, imagine it was Jesus doing it.

That, actually, is the part of the Thursday story that blows my mind the most. Jesus, washing the stinky, hot, dirty feet of his disciples. Jesus kneeling at their feet. Washing, drying, kissing them.

I never had the guts to propose the foot-washing to my discussion group. But someday, Jesus, when we finally meet face to face, I am going to fall to my knees and wash your feet with my tears of joy and dry them with my hair.

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