Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean.” John 13:10
When I was single, sometimes I skipped showers (this is a difficult confession…), and plopped into bed. After marriage, I probably skipped shower three times at most. My wife would not have me next to her unless I am all washed up. But not one day did I not wash my feet. That is where Suyun draws the line.
Our feet gets lot of use. Perhaps more than any other muscles, except for the heart. And it is impossible to keep it clean through out the day. Whether it be open-toed sandals or woolen socks and leather boots, our feet gets dusty and sweaty.
So our feet needs daily washing. We wash our hands everyday. More than once. It is unusual, not to mention unhygienic, not to wash our hands everyday. Doesn’t our feet need that same vigilance? Most of us do wash our feet daily (I hope), but we don’t see it in that same importance as our hands.
I think we treat our spiritual life, actually, like our feet. Every day, our spiritual aspirations meet the dirty roads of life, and it gets grimy. There is no way to avoid it. We will never live up to our own expectations for the day, let alone God’s expectation. So we should have a time at the end of the day, to repent. We should not just dab our feet with water but soap it vigorously as our hands. That is, when we repent, perhaps a generic “I am a sinner” doesn’t clean anything. Maybe we have to take stock of our day, and verbally repent of them. And that should not be a dour task. It should refresh us.
There were a few times when I actually said to Suyun, “These are my feet and I am an adult!” But I did go wash it anyway, because I don’t like sleeping alone. And when the warm water bathed my feet, it felt heavenly. It feels good to repent!