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,