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Dirty Feet: Why Receiving Christ's Love Changes Everything

I know God’s voice when I hear it.

I made my way to the front.

I pulled my red shoes off and tucked my socks inside. I sat in a chair and waited. Finally, I walked to the bowl and sat down in front of it.

The junior bishop dipped his towel into the bowl as I placed my feet in it. He said a prayer of blessing over me, thanking God for the “path he has placed me on.” I continued to cry. If only he knew my path, maybe he wouldn’t say such crazy things. Or maybe he does know? Who knows? Another leader dried my feet off. I walked back to my shoes, picked them up, and made my way back to my seat. I placed my arms on the pew in front of me and laid my head them, quietly crying.

“Why do you still love me? How can anyone still love me? I feel so helpless.”

I continued to cry…pushing away the love that was trying to envelop me. To be lavished on me.

“No…no…no…you can’t wash my feet.”

“I already have…”

As the choir sang and the rest of the congregation had their feet washed, I realized how hard it is for me to choose to receive love.

But receiving love is just as important as giving it.


After we were all seated, the Bishop and other leaders began silently removing everything from the altar. Every flower, every cloth, every kneeling cushion. Even the very cross that had been draped with a sheer white cloth was removed. And they began washing the altar with towels and water. The candles, which remain lit at all times, were put out.

I thought about what it must have been like for the disciples and Jesus to clear the table after the Lord’s Supper. How they probably stripped away the tablecloth and the plates of food and the chalices of wine and the breadcrumbs.

It represents the end of an era. An end of a time.

And it was preparing the way.

A way of death for life.

A way of life for us.

They finished stripping the altar – it was completely bare.

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