Maundy Thursday: The Last Supper, The foot-washing.
The wounds of the heart are an underground cemetery of buried and seemingly lifeless things. There beneath lies our secret shames, internal struggles, deepest pains, past failures, open wounds, walls of pride and highly organized legions of anxieties.
Quietly, they work in the under currents of our being, their wastelands reforming our identities into a casket like shape seeking the stench of death rather than the fragrance of life.
On this Maundy Thursday, I think of my wounds. They are so deep in my heart, I can ignore them effortlessly until BOOM! The trigger is pulled, and I find them still swirling into my being, stealing my breath away and rendering me helpless.
On this Maundy Thursday, I think of my pride. For others, it may be a covering of accomplishment, but for me it is an undergarment of insecurities. I am not brave; I am too shy; I am not skilled; I am too sensitive; I am not enough; I am too introspective; I am not thin enough; I am not attractive enough; I am too quiet, too serious, and am too small for my big big dreams.
On this Maundy Thursday, I think of my internal agonies. The ones I won’t say out loud; the ones that bring the most pain; the ones that demand justice; the ones that send me weeping into a garden like Gethsemane, except I’m dreading the past instead of shaping the future.
I think of them often as I get older, and I soothe them with the balm of Jesus.
On this Maundy Thursday, I see Jesus taking care of some things. After all, it was his last day to be alive in human flesh. For us, that would mean saying goodbye to family and making sure our affairs are in order. For Jesus, that meant breaking bread, feeding those around him and than doing the unimaginable.
Washing the feet of his friends…
Yes, He would wash their feet….dirty from walking dusty roads. Unattractive, from years of labor; offensive, until properly cleansed. This cleansing was a job meant for a servant, not a friend, and certainly not a king.
Yet, Jesus ministered to his disciples in His final hours. His hands touched their feet and cleaned them in a parallel of what was to come – such a tender servant-sacrifice preview.
Peter could not handle this. And, I say that we are Peter, too. We cannot handle His healing touch on our lowly feet.
For though His touch washes the dirt and grime from our unattractive sin-stained bodies, it also brings the fire of conviction into our souls. It says to forgive, even when when the offender is unrepentant. It says to let go of offense, even when we’ve been wronged. It says to surrender our hearts to humility, even when we are due recognition. It says to WASH THE FEET OF OUR BRETHERN (literally) yet we run away from the foot washing basin, run away from the call of Jesus and STILL call ourselves obedient and here……
Here, we are Peter too, unable to handle the touch of the Servant-King on our feet while His wildfire flames of conviction flushes Holy Spirit conviction throughout our veins.
For, if we could “handle” it, than we would not need Him; we would not need His healing touch, His perfect sacrifice, the resurrection leap, the Holy Spirit helper…. If we could “handle it”, then we would not need Jesus, who was humble to the point of washing the feet of His betrayer on the night He was to be betrayed. If we could “handle” it, then we wouldn’t be betrayed by anxieties, fears, and we would walk perfectly in meekness, mercy and tenderness like Jesus did ….. We would be on equal footing with the One who walked straight to the foot washing basin to the cross and who chose to lay down His life for his friends AND His enemies.
We can’t handle it, and until we know what we don’t know, we won’t know! However, it is okay indeed, because Jesus knows us AND our secret burial grounds. With Jesus before us, we can bare our ignorance and our bare feet because despite being fully known, we are fully loved and that’s LIFE.
So, on this Maundy Thursday, let us remember our former wounds, for it is there God has encountered us with healing balm in his hands. He ministers there, healing, re-creating, molding and cultivating beautiful souls, readying them for their debuts, and equipping them for the battles ahead. So, let us sit to rest with Jesus, but not hide our feet from Him. He has come to wash them…and we would do well to receive.
And finally, let us look forward to the coming Resurrection for the power of the cross has defeated the graveyards in our hearts. For in Jesus Christ, we have a soul saving, Lazarus raising, tomb raiding, death breaking, life resurrecting, forever crushing the dead places in the name of Jesus- look at what He has done for us- the son of man, slain Lamb, Risen King to come again!!