You call Me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, because I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example so that you should do as I have done for you. John 13:13-15
We’ve worked our way through what forgiveness is, what it is not, and also given thought as to why it’s so hard. Hopefully, you’ve allowed your heart to open up to old wounds that are yet unhealed in hopes of being freed from the torment of remembering. I suspect it’s been difficult and you’ve wondered how this series would come to a conclusion. Would there be instruction, then closure? The answer is yes. I hope you are poised to take action because these next few days are pivotal to take you to the freedom God promises.
I have been humbled by what God’s forgiveness of repentant sinners really looks like. It is only through feeling gratitude that I can think of giving away the same gift. It is only then that I am able to ache to live a different way….a way that is realized when forgiveness is worked out between God and me for my offender. If so, what’s next?
I asked that in May of 1997 as God showed me that I had not forgiven someone who hurt me over the course of many years. It was entangled and messy. As I asked God how to begin, He took me to this passage in John. I panicked and then thought about what it would take to wash this person’s feet. I began to talk to God about it everyday in prayer. I spent the next three months working on this. This is what happened.
My prayer time became all about forgiveness. I couldn’t think of much else.
I could see a foot washing scene in my mind as I prayed. A basin. A stool. A chair. And a pitcher of water.
My offender came and sat in the chair. I took my place on the stool. I could sense Jesus near, watching me.
In my anger, I momentarily wished the basin was filled with scalding water as my hurt fully resurfaced. Immediately, I had to deal with my desire for vengeance.
I began to wash her feet and for many weeks, I re-lived the experience and began to pour out my hurt. What that looked like will be for tomorrow. Until then, think about whether this foot washing ‘template’ would be helpful to you. If you decide to proceed, and that will take courage, Jesus is waiting to help you.
Jesus, I need You because with You all things are possible. Amen