We had a large amount of new volunteers for our Feet on the Street event a few weeks ago and the consensus among most when asked about washing feet was one of hesitation coupled with a desire to be like Jesus.
When we arrived at the event that morning, we gathered everyone together—volunteers and homeless friends—and opened up our time with the story of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet. A story that exemplifies what it looks like to love and submit, and what it looks like to let someone love you.
Jesus, while always deeply knowing His place before God, seemed to feel the weight of His position the night He decided to rise from supper and bend down to wash His disciples’ feet. The position of the Son to the Father, a servant to his master, a messenger to the one who sent him—showing what it looks like to love and submit.
For those washing feet, they had to put aside our hesitations and do as Jesus did. And one of our homeless friends, James, did just that. He washed someone else’s feet.
James after washing Elisabeth's feet
Simon Peter, reluctant at first, let Jesus wash away dirt from the filthiest part of his body—his feet. All of what he stepped in and walked through, washed away in that moment by someone who loved him. The position of the Son to the Father, a servant to his master, a messenger to the one who sent him—showing what it looks like to let someone love you.
For those getting their feet washed, they had to put aside our hesitations and choose to let someone love them. Many of our homeless friends were brave enough to allow us to be a part of their lives in this way. “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet,” Jesus said.
Formerly homeless friend Frankie washing this man's feet
Washing someone’s feet is an act of humility. Jesus, God in the flesh, did it—no one is above Him. And letting someone else wash your feet is also humility. It’s a vulnerable thing to let someone see the messiest part of yourself and to let them love you through it.
This is what we got to be a part of on that Saturday. While the hesitation may not have left for some, we had the opportunity to be like Jesus and Simon Peter. 150 people walked into that basketball court, talked with new friends, ate some breakfast tacos, found some shoes and new socks, prayed together, and got their feet washed.
A few weeks later, our homeless friend named Courtney, who attended the event, felt led to have another feet washing event. And he summed up this act of feet washing with this:
"Feet washing is a symbol, it's from being selfish into giving, to live on an altruistic plain where you dedicate your life into giving in the name of the Lord. Not for myself, not for my name, not for my own reputation, but for the Kingdom of God. And when He gets glory, I get joy.”
Our Feet on the Street event was beautiful. God led the way and was present with us. We give Him all the glory, and that gives us great joy!
Thank you to Luke’s Locker and Feetures for providing shoes and socks for our homeless friends. Thank you to all who joined us that day. Thank you for submitting, showing love, and letting others love you.