She Washed My Feet {Literally}

We’d been working all day.  Various projects occurring in various locations.  So, when I realize the evening holds a worship night, I am less than enthusiastic.  (I know.  On a mission trip…there for Jesus…and not wanting to participate in a worship night. Just being honest.)

We eat dinner and enter the room.  Worship stations.

(For those unfamiliar with worship or prayer stations, there are “stations” around the room with prompts designed to help you still and reflect.  Some stations cause you to give praise while others might lead you to repentance. It’s time to quiet yourself and sit at His feet.)

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I am thinking...I have nothing left, Lord.  I’ve been wrestling with you since I arrived in this country.  I am not sure what you could possibly want to hear from me.  Geez.

(And that’s what I get for thinking it’s all about me.)

Eric and Andrew lead us in worship.  Beautiful words.  I close my eyes, thankful for the quiet, the words, the melodies.  My heart rests as each song reminds me of how great He is.  (I am so forgetful most days.)

Our host, Jaclyn, explains each station as the music continues.

What “baggage” did we bring that we’d like to leave in Honduras? How have we seen beauty in (or rise from) ashes this week? Do we know who we are in Christ?  Have we told Jesus how much we love him? Wash a friend’s feet to show love, thankfulness, and humility for his/her service to you and others this week.

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It’s a ton of self-reflection.  And, I am not sure I want to.  Because once I open this floodgate, acknowledging my struggles and asking God what He really thinks, I fear what I might find in my heart.  What He might reveal.  A hot shower or early bedtime seem preferable.

But, my daughter is sitting beside me.  And while I tell her she does not have to stay (she is very tired and unsure of the whole “worship station” thing), I know exiting is not a good example.  Tired or not.

So, I submit to the process.  I surrender my walls, which God promptly tumbles.

Time passes.  I process my baggage (shew, it’s a LOT); God clearly speaks as I ask Him about the beauty that can rise from ashes (if you know my story, you can imagine how pivotal THIS moment was for me); I read each verse about who I am in Christ.  I begin my love note to Jesus.

While writing, I feel a tap on my shoulder.  She speaks words I will NEVER EVER EVER forget…

Mom, when you are done, I would like to wash your feet.  

The child I labored for 27 hours to have.  The child I rocked to sleep…taught the alphabet…bandaged knees – and her heart. The child I watch dance through life…the one who serves me and whom I serve.

My child – now a young woman – wants to wash my feet.  Beyond humbling.

We walk to the foot washing station.  I remove my shoes and sit in awe as she pours warm water, kneels before me, and washes my feet.  I wish I could tell you what I prayed or what my heart felt, but I can’t.  It was like that verse from Romans: The Spirit intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words.  

We switch places.  I wash her feet – TRULY an honor.  One of the greatest moments of my life.  And then we pray together.  We pray about all that has been, all that is, and all that we hope will be. We claim His promises for the people we love.  We pray for this day forward – that we walk worthy of our calling as Christ followers.  (Ephesians)

And little does Hannah know that God has just answered a 15 year prayer:  Lord, may Hannah and Owen’s faith be theirs, not mine.  May they own their relationship with you – not because I forced them to attend church or groups – not because I forced my beliefs upon them – but because I have loved them well and you’ve drawn them to you.

As we leave the room God’s sovereignty overwhelms me. The threads he’s pulled, snipped, and tied to weave the tapestry of this moment- this 10 minutes in our lives – possible . Shew.  I wish I could share with you how I traced these moments in awe of God, but it would take pages of words.  But here’s a glimpse…these are the people who made Hannah’s trip possible (and we thank each one from the depths of our beings):

Sue Adams, Rusty and Stephanie Arthur, Diana Bailey, Leah Barbarito, Nicole Barton, Terri Biley, Nick and Samantha Bradley, Janet Brewster, Lakyn Campbell, Angel Carpenter, Pam Childers, Lori Cottrill, Misha Dailey, Kathy Dye, Wendi Farmer, Laura Gardner, Candice Grose, Linda Grubbs, Kristen Johnson, Brian and Heather King, Veronica King-Cunningham, Corinna Lilly, Lisa Matthews, Tim and Kyle McCartney, Danny and Carolyn Mullins, Vince Nedeff, Christy Owen,  Andrew and Emily Prather, Ryan and Brittanie Rimmey, Valerie Roberts,  Randy and Jane Shamblin, Shirley (no last name – gave to Han at a conference where I spoke), the Taviano Family, Jean Todd, Al and Ashley Wanosky, Joe Webb, Jen Wright, Wally and Marilyn Yocum, Chad and Angie Yoho. (I pray I forgot no one.)

Friends, you have to know something INCREDIBLE about this list of people!  If I had missed ANY season of my life…from my days at Poca United Methodist Church to my current season of life…there’s someone on this list I would never have  met.  If I’d made one decision differently – from the place Hannah dances to where I attended church, someone would be missing.

I KNOW!

There’s someone from childhood, from high school, from college, from family, from different churches, from ministry teams, from conferences and retreats, from Hannah’s time as a dancer and Southern Belle/my time as her mom.  Some are closer to my sister or my mom.  One I student taught under.  I even met one family on the Internet when I became a writer.

Think of this…

If I  look back and regret ONE season of life – try to change even ONE thing – one of these people disappears from my story, from Hannah’s story.  One of them no longer plays a part in the foot washing.  

It’s overwhelming to serve a sovereign God, huh?  A God I often do not understand. One I question and squabble with.  One I love more than anything.  Because in each of these seasons (EVERY SINGLE ONE) I wondered…

Why me?  Why Hannah?  Why now? Why not now?  

And the answer?

Because someday your 15-year-old daughter will want to go to Honduras with you (who knew when I felt called there in 2007!). Because someday your little girl will tap you on the shoulder and want to wash your feet.

Because My plan is always better and greater…and today I let you glimpse a little slice of heaven.

Because…

There’s more yet to come.  More life to live and more trials to traverse. More smiles to scatter and more tears to tumble.

And still… He is the great I am.  The Alpha and Omega.  The beginning and the end.  The one who is and who was and who is to come. (Revelation 1:8)  And I trust knowing that He is sovereign and He is good.  All the time. For me  and for you, friend.

12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked,“Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them. John 13: 12-17

Let’s trust in His sovereignty – even when we don’t see or understand.  And let’s wash feet today.  None is greater than any other. Let’s be examples to follow – full of grace, love, and humility toward all mankind.

Much love,

Comments

  1. Sue Adams says:

    Amen. This is a blog that has such outreach. One of the most beautiful written. You are such a woman of faith and watching you grow through these writings is a blessing.

    • I was just thinking about that…it’s so neat to look back over the 4.5 years of the blog and see God’s hand. Sometimes I shake my head, wondering…why did I write that? But, I never delete anything – even those things with which I now disagree – because I feel like it’s all part of my story.

  2. Once again a beautiful post! It made me cry when I read the part about Hannah washing your feet. So humbling.

    • Kathy, It was so very humbling both literally and figuratively..literally as she washed them and metaphorically as I realize how often she serves me in a quiet, humble manner.

  3. Drema Ward says:

    I am beyond words to express. Deep meditation is what I need to do that is how much this blog has touched me.

  4. Terri Biley says:

    I am humbled. I have no other words. Thank you for sharing.

    • Terri…As I looked back through the list of names yesterday, that’s exactly how I felt: Humbled. There was something about my relationship with each person that made me pause and think…they didnt have to give…I may have even given them a reason not to give. I was overwhelmed with the grace offered and love shown to both Hannah and me. I plan to keep the list handy as a reminder. Thank you for the gift and for the grace extended.

  5. Becky Ash says:

    God bless you and Hannah. Thank you so much for sharing this story. It has me in tears. A great reminder that we serve an AWESOME GOD and even when we don’t understand he is always in control.

    • Thanks, Becky! We do serve an awesome God. I am guilty of forgetting that in the midst of the hard places. But, I am praying and renewing my mind…integrating Him into all I do.

  6. So beautiful, friend!! I love this for a million reasons. Thank you for sharing and helping me look back at ALL the seasons of my life through a new lens today. Love you!

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