Thursday, April 21, 2011
Your hands, Lord
The washing of the feet
Ghislaine Howard (b.1953 ) Acrylic 2004 Methodist Collection of Modern Christian Art, No.40
Jesus knew what he had to do, what he would endure- and that it was in his hands. When things are in our hands, what do we choose? What would we have chosen if things had been in our hands? We probably would not have chosen to strip away the dirt and grime of others. To personally embrace all of those dirty, stinky, gnarled and calloused others. And to love them anyway.
As he went along he could no longer see his face in the reflection of the water, just all of the dirt churning.
We probably wouldn't choose to continue to be patient with those who were slow to get it, who were rude and insistent. We surely would not embrace the chronically irritating. We most definitely would not embrace those who would betray us behind our backs- who already had. And to love them anyway.
As he listened he could tell he could no longer be heard over all of their self-absorbed concerns.
And after he washed their feet, we do not hear that anyone washed his, or even that he cleaned himself up, getting rid of all that dirt. We hear only that he got up and put on his robe again. And kept serving- feeding, teaching, and loving anyway. All the way to the cross. Where they forgot all they had seen and heard.
Sacrificing everything-in love- though we like the disciples only seem to excell in taking...though we fail to grasp or embrace this vision...though we become callous toward not only others, but to our Lord...though we really don't want to get our hands dirty...though we would hate and kill and betray if everything was in our hands. Even though we wish to deny this truth. How can we love as you have? -Seemingly simple and profound, yet impossible in our hands without you.
It's clear just how dirty that water has become. And how your voice is lost in our babble.
Lord, wash away all that, and then wrap your love around us.
May we stop to ponder before we walk on.
Then by your power, may your call to love each other as you have loved emerge in us, but when it does may it always be you they see.