There is something so freeing about walking around without shoes on. But can you imagine walking everywhere without shoes? Imagine for a minute with me that you decided to walk around barefoot for a week. It’s a pretty good week not too hot not too cold and you’re walking where there are sidewalks and not a ton of trash, but one day it rains. On this particular rainy day without shoes you are on your way to the house of someone you respect a lot. This person is someone you love dearly and don’t get to see very often. When you drive up to there you realize they don’t have any concrete leading up to their house. There is only grass which has become mud since it started raining. You have no choice but to trek through the mud and ring the door bell. The door opens. Your friend meets you with a smile as you notice their plush white carpet that may get ruined by your muddy feet. They look down to see your muddy dirty feet and say, “don’t worry about it. I’ll help clean you right up!”
I doubt many of us have been in this exact physical situation but this week I was shown how many times I’ve been here spiritually.
“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”
Vulnerability is one of the hardest things to do. Our world teaches us that vulnerability equals weakness. They try to tell us to have intimacy but not to allow people to see you in a vulnerable light. Vulnerability means that you have more of a chance to be hurt or betrayed. Vulnerability means that whatever you show can and will be used against you, but I have to ask, is this a true depiction of what vulnerability is supposed to be? And even more so can you have intimacy without vulnerability?
Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”
Dirty smelly nasty feet.
In this time the feet were one of the dirtiest parts of the body. The disciples walked everywhere with sandals. There were no cars or bikes and the roads weren’t clear and clean. Feet were so gross that the normal servants didn’t even wash them. For Jesus, the King of kings, to even think about washing His disciples feet was a shocker to them. What is an even bigger deal is the fact that He told Peter that if He doesn’t wash his feet than Peter can have no part of Him.
Have you allowed Jesus to wash your feet?
This week I found myself dealing with a lot of shame from past mistakes. Tuesday before I went to bible study I stood in my bathroom and invited God into those memories. I’ve been working on taking every thought captive and making them surrender to Christ’s thoughts about me. This specific day I felt like God was telling me to capture the memories and make them surrender to Christ’s thoughts. As I sat in my bathroom I could feel the Holy Spirit say, “daughter I want even the dark moments”. Tears of repentance for holding onto guilt and shame fell as I gave my God the pain and fear that I had held onto for too long.
Have you allowed Jesus to wash all of the parts of you? I can tell you from experience that He wants even the dirtiest darkest sins. The ones that you are scared to even talk about. He wants the ones that continue to taunt you. The ones that you regret. Maybe you’ve experienced freedom from these specific sins or maybe these are things that you still struggle with. Can I tell you something? Regardless of if its still a struggle or if it’s a scar you bare and it is tender with pain still, Jesus wants it. He wants the dirt of the dirtiest. He wants the pain that is still intertwined with the scars you bare. He wants it and actually requires you to give it to Him. Will you give it to Him? Vulnerability with Jesus will never backfire on you. He isn’t going to use these things against you. In fact He wants to do the exact opposite and use these things for you. He will bring the people that you can confess to and get guidance from but until that happens take it all to the lover of your soul. He wants you to be whole and He will always love you through it.
May we walk with understanding that there is grace that is sufficient for the dirt we encounter. May we allow Jesus to sanctify us and guide us. May we allow people to be vulnerable and cultivate an atmosphere of love and truth and may we encounter the same when it’s our turn.
Keep journeying dear friends.