It’s been a busy nine days, and my feet have a lot to show for it.
Frankly, they’re a mess. Blisters have erupted on the heels and in-between the toes where shoes rubbed skin that was not used to the pressure. Dirt from dusty mountain trails has worked its way so deeply into the soles that even repeated scrubbings with soap and water fail to dislodge it. They’ve plummeted through icy water on a river rafting trip, were repeatedly doused in salty seawater and have baked in the sun and hot sand they traveled through. Sunburnt and dry in some places, there are open sores in others where particles of sand were trapped between skin and sandal and rubbed the flesh raw. In short, they’ve had a rough couple of weeks and are in desperate need of some pampering. They could use a few long soaks in a tub filled with warm soap water, a good session or two with a pumice stone, lathering in lotion and maybe perhaps even a Band-Aid or two. But all that can wait till my vacation travels are over and I find myself home once more. Until then I bathe them at night, bandage the worst of the wounds by day, and walk on them some more.
Amazingly, I’m proud of them in their burnt and blistered state. Their condition boasts that they didn’t sit idle as I visited new places. Instead they’re almost a travel diary in themselves of new experiences and opportunities explored and enjoyed. And as I look at them I wonder what condition my spiritual feet are in and what they might have to say about my Christian walk I wonder if they likewise speak of new adventures in the spirit or would instead shame me with a pristine condition that speaks of too much time on the sidelines. Have I ventured out on to new paths in the Spirit that take me to the high places with God, never minding the bumps and bruises I experience along the way, or have I merely sat safely at home and read about spiritual adventures others have taken? Have I plunged into the river of God, risking the rapids that threaten to dislodge me, or merely listened to the stories of others who braved the trip, envious of the thrills and chills they experienced as a result? Have I simply looked out at the world around me or did I get out and experience it firsthand, hiking miles perhaps through wind and waves and spiritually changeable weather?
Likewise my spiritual feet won’t get the pampering they deserve until I finally arrive safely Home. Till then there’s plenty of work to be done as I go about my Father’s business. Christ still washes the feet of His servants through the saints that He sends our way, fellow Christians who use the gifts He’s placed inside of them to wash off the trail dust we’ve collected, minister to our sore spots and refresh and encourage us as we continue along the way.
The more battered my spiritual feet look to me, the better they look to God. The important thing is to keep them moving. I have a feeling He doesn’t think much of feet that simply stand still.
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”!
(Isaiah 52:7 NIV)
(Isaiah 52:7 NIV)