Valentine’s Day is Sunday! It is a day set aside to “show LOVE!”
What does that really mean?
In biblical terms it would mean LOVING ONE ANOTHER!
There are many “LOVE ONE ANOTHERS” spoken in the Bible. But when we are talking about a whole day set aside to LOVE OTHERS, I believe we should take our cue from the one who showed the world the greatest love ever, JESUS!
In the book of John chapter 13 we read these tender words from Jesus about His LOVE for His disciples,
“…When Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart out of this world to The Father, having LOVED His own who were in the world, HE LOVED THEM TO THE END.”
So, Jesus gave them a bunch of money. NO!
So, Jesus set them up for life with a home and land. NO!
So, Jesus took them out for a nice dinner. NO!
So, Jesus gave them candy, flowers and a big heart balloon. OF COURSE NOT!
Jesus acted on His LOVE for them, lowered Himself to the dirty ground and washed their stinky feet!
Feet are not known for smelling sweet.
Feet are known to stink! We don’t shake feet, we shake hands.
Yes, it would be uncomfortable to sit down and put our feet in the air every time we met someone new and wanted to greet them. But, it would also be less sanitary, and possibly down right stinky!
We walk on our feet. Our feet touch the dirty ground. Our feet get pushed into socks and shoes of all kinds. Our feet take the weight of our entire body on them. They feel the pressure of running and walking, stepping on hard blacktop, and rough ground. They step on rocks, gravel and sand. Not to mention all kinds of dirt in every form.
No wonder feet stink!
I am known for being a bit of a “neat freak.” Well, actually, I am known for being a huge neat freak. I like things clean and am not fond of touching dirt. Except to clean it of course, and then I have rubber gloves on my hands. Touching dirt, let alone, stinky feet, would not be something I would sign up to do. Yet, one of the greatest experiences in my life was doing just that!
In the Summer of 2009 we left for Nairobi, Kenya to do mission work alongside missionaries who were already working in the slums there. We walked each day into the slums of the Mathare Valley and witnessed the most detestable living conditions I have ever seen! The mud was thick and dense from years and years of piles upon piles of every gross and dirty thing you can imagine! The stench was overwhelming and caused an immediate gut wrenching reaction. I literally had to hold back the vomit. God was good and day after day we walked the Valley, prayed over it, shared the good news of Jesus with anyone who would listen and interacted with the people who lived there.
My favorite part of the day would be returning to the school the Missionaries built there and teaching the children who came.
As the time of our trip drew near for us to depart and return home, our leaders called us all together. They had set up chairs and wash basins and were calling all of the Kenyan workers over to sit in the chairs. We were going to wash their feet as and act of LOVING ONE ANOTHER.
I washed the feet of an older Kenyan woman who wore sandals daily and walked back and forth in the filthy, dirt of the Mathare Valley slums. I wrapped a towel around my waist and got on my knees, and bowed low to take hold of her calloused feet. I remember going down on my knees and asking God to help me endure the stink and demonstrate His LOVE. By the time I held her foot in my hand and dipped it into the water, tears were streaming down my checks! Her feet were beautiful and they were covered with the same sweet scent of the LOVE of Jesus that mine were!
I held her feet in my hands and washed them and dried them with the towel around my waist and felt like I had never demonstrated LOVING ONE ANOTHER like Jesus told me to any better!
I WAS NOT THE TEACHER THAT DAY, AND SHE WAS NOT THE COOK, WE WERE SIMPLY BOTH THE CHILDREN OF GOD!
“DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I HAVE DONE TO YOU? YOU CALL ME TEACHER AND LORD, AND YOU ARE RIGHT, FOR SO I AM. IF I THEN YOUR LORD AND TEACHER , HAVE WASHED YOUR FEET, YOU ALSO OUGHT TO WAS ONE ANOTHER’S FEET.”
Jesus calls this, Loving One Another.
He demonstrates this Love for us as He Loves His disciples by washing their feet. Feet that walked up and down dirty, dusty roads in leather sandals.
When we truly love one another it can be stinky and dirty!
Jesus says He Loves His disciples!
He then tells us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER and wash each other’s feet!
February is a month we dedicate to LOVE! We give candy, cards and flowers, but do we “wash one another’s feet?”
Do we Love each other by doing the hard stuff?
Do we listen, meet needs, go out of our way and speak God’s Truth in love even when it is hard to say and hear?
I believe this is what Jesus meant when He told us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER by “washing each other’s feet.”
It may be stinky, it may be dirty, but we are to DO THE HARD STUFF IF WE TRULY ARE LOVING ONE ANOTHER!
I’m looking at Valentines Day a bit differently this year. My prayer is that you will too!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I LOVE YOU!
Speak Truth Love