…for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 113:18
Every morning we have a beautiful vibrant red cardinal visiting our ornamental pear tree in our front yard. He frames himself among the green leaves in our picture window and sings his little heart out.
At our previous home I used to sit outside on my swing and listen to my favorite bird high in the trees singing, and it sounded like it was calling out, “Dirty Feet! Dirty Feet! Pookey, Pookey, Poo!
…he got up from the table, removed his outer clothes, took a towel, and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel that he had tied around his waist. Jesus as recorded in John 13:4-5
This reminds me of a time when I was a little girl in school. I grew up on a farm, and often had to do chores late into the night or before going to school in the morning with no time to wash because we had to be on the bus for the 40 minute commute.
“You don’t know now what I’m doing. You will understand later.” Jesus to Peter in John 13
One fateful day, I remember taking my tennis shoes off in gym class to shower. My feet that day just happened to be unusually horrifyingly dirty.
When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter asked him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet? … You will never wash my feet.” Jesus replied to Peter, “If I don’t wash you, you don’t belong to me.” Simon Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, don’t wash only my feet. Wash my hands and my head too!” John 13: 6-10
I felt such embarrassment when I saw two of the pretty popular girls whispering to each other and pointing at my feet and looking at me with pity in their eyes. Oh, how I wish I could have taken the time to take a bath, even if it meant being late to
Have pity on me, O God, in keeping with your mercy. In keeping with your unlimited compassion, wipe out my rebellious acts. Wash me thoroughly from my guilt, and cleanse me from my sin. I admit that I am rebellious. My sin is always in front of me… Purify me from sin with hyssop, and I will be clean. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow…Hide your face from my sins, and wipe out all that I have done wrong. Create a clean heart in me, O God, and renew a faithful spirit within me. Do not force me away from your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore the joy of your salvation to me, and provide me with a spirit of willing obedience. [Then] I will teach your ways to those who are rebellious, and sinners will return to you…Let my tongue sing joyfully about your righteousness… Psalm 51 various
I could have curled up in a ball in the corner and died.
My disgrace is before me all day long, and my face is covered with shame. Psalm 44:15
That was one of my worst childhood experience with deep deep feelings of shame.
I was reading an article on shame and repentance the other day (this is when the Holy Spirit brought to mind my dirty feet incident) and the author was talking about Jesus washing the disciples feet.
“A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean…”Jesus to his disciples as recorded in John 13:10
I now have a new way of approaching my wonderful Savior when I feel Him drawing me to repentance. I will just sit before Him and picture Him washing my feet and know that God loves us so much that He will stoop down to wash
away my sins His little children’s feet.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
I will always hear the call of that bird with new ears, “Dirty Feet! Dirty Feet! Pookey, Pookey, Poo!” A call to repentance. How I will hurry to Jesus!
Humility is better than shame.
Is it a coincidence that Jesus washed the disciples feet before eating the bread and drinking the wine?
This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:28
Is it a coincidence that cardinals are bright red?
Father, thank you for bearing our shame. Thank you for forgiving us. Thank you for redeeming every horrible thing that happens to us. Thank you for bringing good out of evil. Thank you for bright red cardinals. In Jesus’ name, Amen.