There are thoughts that I have about the condition of the world today that are so deeply personal, that I’m not sure that I will ever share them out loud. It seems to me that our heads are so “full-up” of opinions, and it’s not my desire to add to that noise. In fact, I often find myself quieting my own thoughts about matters, recognizing when I may be getting caught up in the “spin,” and making a conscious effort to focus my thoughts elsewhere. And here is where I choose to rest my thoughts: Eternity.
Remembering that there is something perfect and blessed that waits for me is a thought that brings great peace to my soul, and causes me to remember that all I do here must be in preparation for meeting my Savior and serving in His eternal kingdom. Adjusting my thoughts heaven-ward also reminds me that this world, this wicked place where violence, temptation, and so much evil abounds, needs me to be the hands and feet and voice of Jesus. This world does not need another protest- it needs a demonstration of love, and that is what I’m called to do.
It takes only a quick glance at John 13 for us to be reminded what that kind of love looks like. In these verses we read, “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.”
So many thoughts come to mind when I read these verses. The expression of love through the washing of feet is today, as it was at that time, a revolutionary concept. In this act, Christ shows the centrality of humility, grace, and kindness in the way that we love others. He shows that no task is too menial, that no person is too great. He shows that a true expression of our love for others involves putting aside everything that we believe to be true about ourselves, other than the fact that we are His, and that our love for Him should overflow into our lowering ourselves to serve others.
It’s a beautiful and humbling thought, that in the midst of widespread violence and terror, God’s children would be lowering themselves as Jesus did, to wash the feet of others, to cleanse away the grime and filth, to apply salve to wounds, to tenderly serve, even to show the most basic of courtesies- a sincere, “Thank you,” holding a door for someone, in general, just thinking of how our action (or inaction) affects others. There are so many ways, big and small, that we can show kindness, grace and mercy to others; and so many ways that we can truly express the love of the Savior.
In I Corinthians 13, the love chapter of the Bible, Paul closes by saying that the three greatest virtues are faith, hope and love- but that the greatest of those virtues is love. This is true, because in God’s eternal kingdom, our faith and our hope will be finally realized, so those virtues won’t be necessary there. But not so with love- love is the virtue of which Heaven is brim-full and flowing over. It is enduring and abiding for all eternity, indeed existing infinitely as part of the nature of God. Love is a virtue that, if we are to know it well when He calls us home, we must learn it well here.
Photo taken from http://www.freebibleimages.org/photos/jesus-washes-feet/.