Am I willing to get my hands dirty, serving the not so pretty needs of others, so I will have great joy?
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!" 10 Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you." 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not everyone was clean. 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. 16 I tell you the truth, 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. - John 13:4-17
Dirty feet were a real part and real issue in the early church. In our culture, if we were to literally wash one another's feet, it may be nothing more than a religious display of piety, but it doesn’t actually help the other person. Today however, people have dirty spiritual feet from walking through divorce, loss, failure, church wounds, addiction, unforgiveness, deception, brokenness, etc. These are perfect opportunities, as God brings them across our path, to get our hands dirty, by “washing” their dirty spiritual feet. We can do this with our love, concern, time, prayer, counsel, money, or humble acts of service. If you are willing, God will bring these wonderful opportunities across your path, empower you to serve them by His grace, and incredibly He then blesses you with joy and rewards. God is awesome!
One time I was backing out of a spot at a Dunkin Donuts, headed home. A 60-year-old man walked up to my car to get my attention. He said, “Are you part of a church…I overheard you talking about God and I have really messed up my life and could use someone to talk to.” I pulled back in and talked with this man for three hours. He was from CA and had been an Emmy award winning technical director for a TV show he worked for for 16 years in Hollywood. He had been married with two adult children and had the “good life” for many years. As he sat before me, he did not even have the money for a donut or coffee, and the only clothes he had were the ones on his back. The car he had been living in was towed and impounded, just days earlier. He was now roaming the streets, knowing only one other person in town besides me. Within seconds of me asking him what was going on, he put his head down and just began to sob. He was completely broken and his life was now filled with such sinful chaos. He had lost everything to a Meth addiction. I told him plainly and boldly about his sin problem and that if he passed away that day, the Bible says he would go to hell. He understood and I explained how to get free through Jesus Christ. I was able to pray for him and lead him to the Lord right there, and later that day we were able to get his car back as well. I have found that God not only uses me to help others, but God uses these encounters to also teach me so much.