I really didn't expect to get much out of the Maundy Thursday service last night. I didn't even plan to go until the last minute. But it kept getting to me again and again and again. I'll take it when I can get it.
The foot washing is always the tricky part, but last night I was reminded of Alex, my servant (which is the only honest way to put it) in Kampala last year.
When I would get home after a rainy day walking on dirt roads, he would take my shoes, take out the shoelaces, and scrub my shoes until the red dirt and mud were as gone as they could be. He would sit on the steps in the front of my apartment with a cloth and scrub the tops, and pick the dirt and mud out of the treads. I would never have bothered to do that (and haven't since). It was an incredible gift.
I realized, too, that one thing Jesus was doing in washing his disciples' feet was making the invisible visible. How many times had the disciples had their feet washed? How many times had they actually noticed the person doing it? Perhaps one thing Jesus was doing was making his disciples see the poor and the lowly all around them. Perhaps that footwashing is an invitation to do the same. Perhaps it would make more sense if it looked like this:
or like this:
Pedicures and shoe shines aren't really in my repertoire, but it made me ask myself, Where are the invisible people in my life? The people who help me that I never even notice, much less thank.