Untied Laces

I re-read the words—the words of the Baptizer, the wilderness reformer who eats locusts and wild honey… 

“…He whose shoe lace I am not worthy to untie”. 

He speaks of the Son of his mother’s cousin, Mary. 

Lost in thought, my fingers play with the leather bracelet on my wrist—a cherished gift made from the laces of the shoes of my dearly-departed father. 

The lace between my fingers, once rough and tough, now smooth and soft with age, reminds me of my father’s hands.  They bid me come.  There’s something I must know.

Flipping pages, I read again, and the words draw me into the story …

Jesus rises from the meal and removes his outer robe.  He takes a towel and wraps it about his waist, then fills the basin with water.  No one speaks. 

One by one, he unties laces, washes and dries feet.  He turns towards me with a look of pure love.  I am Peter.

“Oh, no, never!  Not my dirty feet.  How awkward, how embarrassing, how shameful! 

“If you don’t allow me to wash your feet, you cannot share life with me.”

The words hang heavy, along with my head and heart.  Tears rim my eyes.

“Friend, don’t you know that you are already clean?  You’ve been washed completely, only your feet need washed”.

Suddenly, a watercourse of understanding flows from my spirit headwaters within.  In Hebrew culture, shoes are often used in covenants of inheritance.  By allowing Jesus to untie my laces, and wash my feet, He unties me from the grime of this world, granting me a greater life–a greater inheritance than any natural inheritance.  Jesus offers me the new covenant inheritance of a shared life with Him.  I only need to offer Him my feet.

So I say yes, and place the soles of my feet in the Master’s hands and I receive the inheritance of life from Him whose shoe lace I am not worthy to untie.  And He washes the grime from between my toes with the watery grace that flows from His wounded side, bending low as one who has come not to be served, but to serve. 

* * * * * * * * *

I leave the story fully known—and yet still fully loved—by God.  Stunned into pure grace once again, I know that there’s nothing too dirty that He can’t make worthy.  I am clean.

Grace & Peace,

Lois

Have I ever felt persecuted when I’ve been contradicted?

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This statement has me thinking.   Have I ever felt persecuted when I’ve been contradicted?

Persecuted—a strong word.  Never has my life been threatened because of my political or religious beliefs.  There were a few times when I was treated unfairly by those who contradicted me—misunderstood and misrepresented by those who didn’t agree with my way of thinking.  Not sure I’d call that persecution, though—more like an opportunity for some needed character development on my part, I’d say.

And then there’s the flip side.  Have others ever felt persecuted when I’ve contradicted them?  My guess is yes, most likely.  I recall some strong reactions from others with whom I disagreed–involving words like close minded, judgmental, disloyal and deceived.

But I rather focus on those times of honest, direct and respectful heart-to-hearts, when we’ve come through to the other side with no bruises, no wounds and no battle scars.  Thankful for those precious times when two agree to disagree and still remain open to relationship for the sake of love.

The bible tells the story of two brothers named Jacob and Esau.  Jacob and Esau had a disagreement that led to a broken relationship lasting many years.

The evening before reuniting with his brother, Jacob wrestles all night with “a man” (who really is the Angel of the Lord).  Jacob calls the place “God’s face”, because he saw God face-to-face and lived.

At daybreak, Jacob leaves his wrestling match and moves on to meet his brother.  Upon seeing Esau, Jacob cries out, “To see your face is like seeing the face of God”!

Sometimes God hides Himself in our disagreements.  Sometimes He hides Himself in those who contradict us.  Sometimes we just need to keep wrestling through until we can see God’s face in the face of the contradiction.   That’s not persecution—that’s love.

Have you ever felt persecuted when you’ve been contradicted?  Try envisioning your brother, and your difference of opinion, coming right out of the heart of God.   It may give you a new perspective worth exploring.