I have never liked my feet.
When I was a younger child, I disliked them because they were crooked and I had to wear shoes to correct them.
As an older child, I disliked them because they were larger than that of my petite friends.
In high school, I disliked them because they were heavily calloused from the years barefoot I had spent on martial arts training mats.
My feet still are covered in functional callouses from walking around barefoot every chance I get (odd I know given this topic), calloused from high heels, from dance shoes, from a plethora of things.
It is an extremely select few people who I will allow to touch my feet without them being covered in socks first. I dislike people touching my bare feet (not to mention they are intensely ticklish).
Now that I am sans a vehicle of my own, I have walked more this summer than I have probably any other time in my life (except maybe a couple of summers at camp)… I average 10,000-20,000 steps (5-10 miles roughly) a day.
I love the forced walking. I enjoy the space it has created in my daily life to think and process. It takes more planning to get around, but it seems to have slowed my life down just enough in this insane season. Walking has returned to me my much coveted processing time that driving used to afford me years ago.
Not long ago this partial verse popped into my head:
“‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!'” (Romans 10:15b)
When I thought of this, I looked down to my feet and contemplated if I considered my feet beautiful in this capacity. I was indeed walking significantly more as a part of my job… in an attempt to do my part to bring the good news of good things to those who have not heard.
But, did I think my feet were beautiful because of it?
I decided I did not see beauty in my feet, but instead I saw the glorious functionality of them and I was thankful.
Thankful that my tendons and ligaments have held up nicely, and they have not given out like they are prone to do.
Thankful that several years ago I bought the worlds most comfortable and durable flip-flops (Crocs) that have lasted me all summer.
Thankful that I live in a city that walking is an easily feasible option.
So, I found myself satisfied. I did not consider my feet beautiful even still, but they were as functional and actually, more useful than they have been in other seasons of my life.
Then, not long later, I began thinking about the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her hair. I was thinking about this because I have never had to wash my feet so frequently in my entire life! (It is a fairly well-known fact that I dislike showering… I try to go multiple days without showering if at all possible.)
Yet, walking so much means incredibly dirty feet… which means washing my feet daily. Every. Single. Day. Dang. It!
However, let’s be clear, even still, I walk on paved sidewalks, brick covered sidewalks, and easily avoid the dirt and puddles… Not dirt roads.
How much more dirty were Jesus’ feet than my own?
Every evening, I wash my feet before I go to bed. I have found that as the summer has gone on, my feet are not just covered in dirt, but they are calloused differently, they are stained because of the color of the dirt… It is gross and I have had to take a foot stone to them frequently in order to remove all of the dirt.
How much more dirty were Jesus’ feet than my own?
This woman was so remorseful that she willingly and gladly cleaned Jesus’ feet with her tears and hair, and then poured what was about a year’s worth of perfume oil onto his feet.
How beautiful were His feet to this woman overcome with guilt and remorse?
“And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume.” (Luke 7:37-38)
Then, on top of it all, she kissed Jesus’ feet. I do not think I have never understood the intense emotions she must have felt until I have experienced my own functional feet that never seem to get clean… And yet, all she wanted to do was clean them and kiss them in such an intimate way. So many feels.
“And Jesus answered him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’
And he replied, ‘Say it, Teacher.’
‘A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?’
Simon answered and said, ‘I suppose the one whom he forgave more.’
And He said to him, ‘You have judged correctly.’ Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.’
Then He said to her, ‘Your sins have been forgiven.’
Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man who even forgives sins?’
And He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.'” (Luke 7:40-50)
This woman is mentioned in Matthew, Mark, AND Luke. She left an impression on these men. Jesus saw her, understood her heart, and forgave her… releasing her of her guilt and remorse…
Go in peace.
How beautiful the feet…