Foot Washing in the Park

“Wow! Am I ever tired! I’ve been running for 20 minutes. I need a place to sit down. There’s a park bench up the street. I’ll sit there. Oh, but there’s a guy sitting there already. I wonder if he’ll mind. He looks friendly.”

I jogged up and said, “Hi, do you mind sharing your bench for a few minutes?”

“Not at all. My name is Yeshua. What’s yours?”

“Grace.”

“That’s a beautiful name. It’s nice to meet you, Grace. It’s a great day for jogging.”

“Yes, it sure it. I’m trying to get my daily quota of 10,000 steps in for my First Place 4 Health class. We have to write down how much exercise we do.”

“That sounds like a good idea.”

“We also have to write down everything we eat. Can you imagine? That’s such a nuisance! I like to eat and forget about it. Unfortunately, our leader checks how much we eat every day!”

“Do you write down everything?”

“Most things.”

“Did you write down the candy bar you bought at the store yesterday and scarfed down as you drove across the city?”

“Candy bar? How did you know about that?”

“And when you measure out how much you’re supposed to eat, do you add more to the amount and not write it down?”

“Hey! What is this? Nag your neighbor day?”

“I’m just checking to see how honest you are, that’s all.”

“I suppose you watch me golf, too.”

“As a matter of fact, I do. You have some rather adverse reactions when you make a bad shot.”

“So, I dropped my club. I didn’t throw it or hit anything with it.”

“And what did you say?”

“Well, Gosh! What in the heck am I supposed to say when a brand new ball rolls into the darn lake?”

He gave me a pained look.

“I’m sorry. I see what you mean.”

“Do you remember that list of all the sins in the Bible that someone sent you by e-mail?”

“You know about that, too? Yes, I received it and looked it over.”

“Did you think some of them described how you live?”

“I’m afraid so. Sometimes I’m stubborn and don’t want to do what people tell me to do. I know I’m arrogant towards some people. I think I can do things better than they can. I sometimes say hurtful things to others. I’m prejudiced against people who are different that I. I get upset with people who send me too many dumb forwards by e-mail. I complain about people who don’t repay their loans. There, I said it. I’m a mess, right?”

“Yes, Grace, you are! You see, when you do things that are dishonest, or burst into an angry tirade, or send a nasty e-mail, or gossip about someone, or hurt someone you love, it’s like walking in the mud. Your feet get dirty. If you don’t wash them once in a while, you can hardly walk anymore.”

“I understand. So what should I do about it?”

“Well, I wash people’s feet. Would you like me to wash yours?”

“Oh, no, I had a shower this morning.”

“They smell foul to me.”

“Oh, they do? I wonder why. Besides, I wouldn’t want you to see my ugly feet.”

“Look, I’ve seen millions of feet. Yours aren’t all that bad.”

I was embarrassed half to death, but I slowly pulled off my dirty socks. “There, you can wash my feet if you like.”

He knelt down in front of me and started to pour warm fragrant water over one foot at a time. The water that dripped off my feet into the basin looked brown and grungy.

“Whoa! I didn’t know my feet were so dirty!”

“Most people don’t. That’s why I have to remind them to wash them.”

After he thoroughly washed both feet, he dried them with a soft white towel. My feet were so clean; they didn’t even leave a smudge on it.

Then he proceeded to rub some perfumed oil on my feet. It smelled like wisteria. When he finished, I started to put my old socks back on.

“Whoa! You’re not putting those stinky things back on, are you? I think you should start with clean ones.” He pulled a pair of fresh socks out of his pocket and slipped them onto my feet. “There, that’s better.”

After I laced up my shoes, I said, “Thank you, Yeshua. I feel much cleaner now.”

“I hope you stop by again soon. It doesn’t take long for your feet to get dirty, you know.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll be back.”

“Now that your feet are clean, watch for something amazing to happen!”

“Oh, good! I love surprises!”

And with that, I jogged off for home.

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