This is the tale of some friends, and friends to be, gathered together one late summer weekend, and our experience with John 13. He said to "do as I have done for you." Here is what that looked like for me and for some of my friends. ♥
She began to read the verses and to shuffle our hearts into order. She brought our readiness and refreshed us with images of a holy scene.
3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. John 13:3-4
She lead and we followed her there as she read.
5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13:5
Outside and under the evening sky, the kettle brimmed with water for our washing and a clean towel for our drying, but I still wasn't sure I wanted anyone to have to touch my feet.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” John 13:6-7
And she gently pressed on, and somewhere between her words my heart lurched, letting the HOLY seep over my awkwardness into willingness.
8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” John 13:8-9
We took our seat, one by one, and put our feet down for the water--for the washing. Music played as we slipped each off, our shoes, and the resistance. We slipped down into each other's hearts, too.
And those with prophetic gifts sat their hands onto our shoulders, but somehow reached all the way into our hearts; reached to post love notes there and leave gifts just right for each. For some, they lifted heavy burdens, and for others, wrapped robes of joy and mirth around ready shoulders. I heard their laughter ring out right there with wet feet and an "AMEN" sealing the moment. Some stood up expectant with their gift in hand, some stood healed, some rose on ready feet and others with permission to rest. I saw that what was needed was given for each, one by one.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. John 13:12-15
As the voices wafted into the night air and music softly played, we sat undone by the washing and undone by love.