On Feet and Maundy Thursday

I have a toenail fungus.

I finally got embarassed to the point of getting it fixed when a certain friend pranked me with a pedicure, and I felt so bad for the nail technician (or whatever you call the person who hacked away at my blocks of feet.)

It’s kinda gross – the nail gets all yellow and thick.  I finally went in about three weeks ago to get medication for it, and there is a sad side effect to the drug. Since the drug slightly effects the liver, I’m not able to enjoy adult beverages.  So, no tasty malt beverages for 3 months.

Feet are an interesting thing.  One of the common faux-pas I had in Egypt was crossing my legs and exposing the bottom of my foot to the person next to me.  It’s basically the equivalent of giving your neighbor the finger in the Middle East.

More than once I caught myself doing it, and learned how to apologize in Arabic real quick.

What is it with feet, anyway?  I was at a baby shower yesterday, and the father-to-be noticed that the first three cards all had little baby feet on them.  They are cute…

…until they look like mine when you get old.  All calloused with toenail fungus.


It makes me think even more about what happened on Maundy Thursday.  Maundy is a derivative of the latin mandum, or command.  It’s when Jesus washed his disciples feet and gave them the commandment to wash one another’s feet.

If you’ve never participated in a footwashing, it’s a trip.  There is nothing like looking at someone when you are sitting and they look you in the eye and wash your feet.  I remember clearly in Cairo when one of my students went out of her way to wash my feet.  I was speechless, and there is something that gets me everytime when I read John 13.

Why would Jesus ever stoop so low as to do the offensive task of washing his disciples feet? The line that gets me every time – “he loved them to the end.”

I’ve read each of the gospels probably close to 100 times. Maybe more. I’m still fascinated each time I read that line.

He loved them to the end. To the end of washing the feet of those who would deny him and betray him.

He loved them to the end. To the end of enduring their stupidity, yet welcoming them back and restoring them from their guilt and shame.

He loved them to the end.  To the end of allowing them to doubt and leave and return and believe.

He loved them to the end.

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April 2009

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