People say that the eyes are the windows to the soul.
But I would argue-so are the feet.
Scripture bears witness to the the significant role feet play in communicating the paradoxical kingdom God has been building.
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger bringing good news,” (Isaiah 52:7)
It sounds so lovely, doesn’t it?
Ironically, feet, particularly ancient ones, that have trodded varied terrains to bring good news should be anything but beautiful.
How can our feet appear unscathed when we are following in the footsteps of Jesus?
God is in the business of moving our feet. Always has been. From the sticky, grainy shores of a waterfront to the slippery slope of the mountains to the smooth paved roads leading to a palace to the dirt paved streets.
Sometimes our feet want to run a different direction. Jonah’s did: “One day long ago, God’s Word came to Jonah, Amittai’s son: “Up on your feetand on your way to the big city of Nineveh! Preach to them. They’re in a bad way and I can’t ignore it any longer.” Jonah 1:1-2.
Can you blame them? Fear sets in when we are navigating toward unfamiliar territory.
It’s what kept many from following Jesus.
But we aren’t promised a journey that keeps are bodies in pristine condition. If that were so, there would be no kingdom worth walking toward.
Our feet, as well as other parts of our bodies, may become scathed but they are promised restoration.
Perhaps, Jesus choosing to assume the role of a servant cleaning Earth’s residual effects off feet showed us just that.
Bringing the message of a kingdom that turns our perspectives upside down involves getting our feet dirty. And being willing to be servants to clean and restore the feet of others.
Jesus tells us: “Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20).
Our feet may end up being ragged, callused, and worn.
But from a kingdom perspective, they are beautiful.
This post was written for the Five Minute Friday Writing Community. Come write with us! http://fiveminutefriday.com/
kelly @kellyblackwell says
Stephanie! What a wonderful take on beauty! Our feet are going to get dirty in doing the Lord’s work. It means moving, shaking and doing.
Thanks for sharing your perspective (and God’s perspective!) on what we should consider beautiful and how to share this with others. Your FMF neighbor #63
Love love love this perspective, friend! It has a very diaconal focus. Indeed “How beautiful are the feet that bring good news.” I’m in the 5 spot this week
Thanks Tara! Hope you are feeling better.
Jeannie Prinsen says
I love this message, especially how you brought in the reference to Jesus serving the disciples by washing their feet.
It’s kind of out-of-season now, but when I read your post I thought of one of my favourite Christmas songs, “Good King Wenceslas.” The King and his page are bringing food and firewood to a poor man, but the page begins to tire and lose heart in the cold. So the King says “Mark my footsteps, my good page; tread thou in them boldly. Thou shalt find the winter’s rage freeze thy blood less coldly.” The page walks in the good King’s steps, and he is strengthened by the warmth he feels in every footprint. To me it is a lovely example of beautiful feet — feet that are put in motion by a heart of compassion for others.
I didn’t realize that was one of the verses!