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Ann Farabee: Wash those feet

 

There was never a doubt as I lugged that metal tub in to our women’s ministry meeting – it would be an evening to remember.
As ministry director, I knew God had put the message in my spirit, and I was going with it.
Something felt different that night – and it was.
Food. Fellowship. Prayer. Then came the message:

In John 13: 2-16, Jesus got up from the meal, laid aside his garments, became a servant, and began washing the feet of His disciples.
What? Washing their feet? That was the servant’s job! Peter was beside himself – totally overcome with emotion, as he cried, “Thou shalt never wash my feet!”
But Jesus did. He said, “If I, your Lord and Master, wash your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.”
Jesus was humbly serving from the heart, even though He knew He would soon be betrayed, denied, and deserted by His own. He laid aside His needs to serve them.

At that point in our meeting, the metal tub, pitchers of warm water, and a towel were brought to the platform. Everyone was smiling, but you could have heard a pin drop.
I asked my friend, Michele, to be seated in a chair placed at the metal tub. She looked at me and slowly began slipping off her sandals, shaking her head the whole time. I dropped to my knees, reaching out for one foot and then the other. I placed them gently in the water. With her head still shaking, she softly whispered, “No, I can’t let you do this.”
I heard her words. I looked up. Our eyes met. Our tears began to flow.

As I washed her feet, I told her how much I loved her. I had watched her life – a single mom raising two daughters. A business owner providing a service to others, making sure each client was able to see Christ through her work ethic.

Her mouth continued to form the words, “No,” and our tears had not stopped. I told her how much our friendship meant to me. I reminded her how she had always been there for my family. I told her how her faithfulness to the church had not gone unnoticed, and how she had allowed her tests to become her testimonies to help others.
I finished. I dried her feet with the towel. I feel sure there was not a dry eye in the house.

There were around eighty women in the sanctuary that night – and we knew Jesus was in our midst. We began walking up and down the aisles – washing one another’s feet – not literally – but with our words. The compassion and love in the room was undeniable.

We were laying aside ourselves, humbly becoming servants, and washing the feet of our sisters in Christ. There was no need for towels, but tissues to dry one another’s tears were appreciated.

Looking back, I believe we all learned something that night:
We learned about love. Leading into the account of the foot washing, John 13:1 says that Jesus knew that His hour was come to depart out of this world, having loved His own until the end.
We learned about serving. Right after the account of the foot washing, John 13:17 says that if we know these things, happy are we if we do them. Our joy that night was living proof.
We learned about blessings. Who was more blessed? The server or the one being served? The foot wash-er or the foot wash-ee? It is said that it is more blessed to give than to receive, but that night, it felt like a tie.

Remember – we must always wash feet – because they will always need it.

Ann is a speaker and teacher. Contact her at annfarabee@gmail.com or https://www.annfarabee.com

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