When my husband was paralyzed from the waist down and in the nursing home, I would visit every day. Although the nursing staff would bathe him in the mornings and change his gown and linens, I would routinely come with my nail clippers and lotion to take care of his nails, feet and legs. After cutting his fingernails I would move to his toes.
Because he was paralyzed, he didn’t feel any of the care I was giving to his lower extremities, but I knew it was important to keep his circulation going and to prevent sores, especially on his heels.
I would give him a pedicure, then wash his legs and especially his feet. Each time I washed his feet, I was reminded of two stories in the Bible. The first is of the woman washing Christ’s feet with her tears and drying them with her hair. She would kiss them and then anoint them with perfume.
LUKE 7: 36-38 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
LUKE 7: 44-48 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” 48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The other story from scripture I would remember, was when Jesus washed the feet of the apostles.
JOHN 13:3-9 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. 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. 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.” 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: 12-17 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. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
I knew that my husband couldn’t feel a thing. In fact, there were times he would watch Jeopardy through the entire time, but I did it anyway. I knew that I could just ask the nurses to do it, but I was his wife. This task was more that just giving foot care. This was me being humble and performing an act of love. It was a way of honoring my husband and God at the same time.
After cleaning his legs and feet, I would massage them with sweet smelling lotion, praying over them, thanking God for all my husband had done when he could walk, or I would simply hum one of my favorite Christian songs, praising God for all he had given us, especially our time together. I was worshipping God in this simple act and imagined that what I was truly doing , was washing the feet of Christ.
Matthew 25: 40 ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
I’m telling you this story for a reason. What I’m trying to say, is that you don’t need to go on mission trips or become a missionary to live a Matthew 25 life. You can obey and honor God and others as He commands, by simple acts of faith, love and service.
Think about it. What can you do? What have you done? How can you do more to live a Matthew 25 life? ASK GOD.
Praying for you as I hope you are praying for me as well.