Maundy Thursday - In search of feet
This is Maundy Thursday of Holy Week. The day we commemorate Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. I can barely hold the image in my mind. The Messiah washing feet? I am much more comfortable with Mary Magdalene washing the Master's feet and anointing them with oil as he refused to let her action be criticized as fiscally foolhardy. But there Jesus is, washing feet. Being humble. It makes me think.
Whose feet should *I* be washing?
And what does it mean to wash feet in 2007? It is more than just the act of washing feet. I think in real service to our faith, washing feet now is to do something ordinary for someone else that no one else is doing.
I watch Oprah. I love her generosity. She keeps finding ways to wash people's feet. This past Christmas time, she gave everyone in her audience $2,000 with which they were to do good deeds. Some just gave away their $2,000 to needy people or causes. Some found ways to grow their $2,000 into much more, into sums like $60,000, or into campaigns netting 100's of thousands of dollars of goods and services.
Yesterday on Oprah, she had a few people who just got inspired to do something. A man was traveling in the Himalayas and noticed that kids in a small and extremely isolated rural mountain village had no books. He managed to get them books, an arduous and complex task. Then he got on fire and ended up quitting his lucrative job and now full-time gets children books, opens tiny libraries in villages around the world - he has given away MILLIONS of books.
A woman was overwhelmed at the fact that poor kids had no pajamas. They slept in their clothes. She started gathering pajamas. It is now her mission in life. She has collected and redistributed over 800,000 pairs of pajamas.
I also recall the story of the little girl who discovered that foster kids carried their possessions around in plastic bags. She herself was maybe 12 years old. She now has managed to supply kids with 100's of thousands of backpacks packed with helpful personal items.
None of these people started out with a fortune. What they started out with was an openness to washing feet. Once their hearts were opened far enough, where to wash took shape. They are ordinary people. They are no different from you and from me, except they are doing more, perhaps -- certainly more than I am.
I can do this. You can do this. We all can. We all can decide to make an impact greater than the one we are now making, one of service providing ordinary things in extraordinary circumstances.
My Maundy Thursday prayer is that my heart will open far enough to find the feet that God most desires me to wash.