Would You Mind if I Wash Your Feet?

Macrina Wiederkehr OSB

18 April 2019

Would You Mind if I Wash Your Feet?

If Christ should suddenly stand before me with a towel thrown over his shoulder and a pan of water in his hands, would I have the humility to take off my shoes and really let him wash my feet? Or, like Peter would I say: ”Wash my feet, Lord? Never!”

Christ has stood in front of me on many a day. It hasn’t always been a pan of water that he’s held in front of me, for water is only one symbol of a way to be cleansed and healed. Sometimes he holds a Bible, or sends a letter, or calls me on the telephone. Sometimes she holds a loaf of bread, or a cup of tea, or gives me her shoulder to cry on. Christ comes in so many ways, in so many people, always holding out that basin of water, and asking that same embarrassing question: “Would you mind if I wash your feet?”.

The beautiful thing about that burning, persistent, foot-washing question is that eventually it calls forth the same question from your heart. Then you discover that your basin is full of water and your heart is full of a call: a call to wash feet.

©Macrina Wiederkehr OSB, first published in Seasons Of Your Heart, Harper Collins, 1991.
Image Christ Washing Peter’s Feet, Ford Madox Brown, 1821 – 1893

Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB, is a member of St. Scholastica Monastery, Fort Smith, Arkansas, USA.