This morning my friend, Bill Schiedler wrote about Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. (John 13:1-15) As I was reading what Bill had shared I was reminded about several things from the past. I’d like to share these with you, what happened and what I learned, the hard way.
As Jesus washed the feet of his disciples he said we were to see this as an example and to do the same. I know there is a deeper meaning than just to take a basin of water and wash the dust off another’s feet.
When Howdy and I were in Hawaii, we attended Grace Bible Church. The pastor at that time taught on the “washing of feet.” One Sunday evening he announced a “foot washing service.” The men stayed in the sanctuary and the women went into the prayer room. Basins of water were brought in and we sat in a circle. Now I must tell you that at that time I was in nursing school at Kapiolani Community College. So it was easy for me to wash the feet of the other women. We were instructed to pray for that woman as we washed and dried her feet. I just wanted to be on the floor washing the feet of the other ladies. The pastor’s wife came over to me and said she wanted to wash my feet. I protested, “no, let me wash your feet.” In my mind I was saying, “don’t you dare touch my feet.” That moment she said to me that pride, yes, pride was keeping me from receiving. Well, that hit me like a ton of bricks. She was so right, my pride was saying, “oh, no, you don’t touch me, I’m not needing this.” As a nurse I could wash feet and more but I didn’t want anyone coming near my feet.
Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” As I sat in that chair with the pastor’s wife on her knees before me something happened in my heart. I was so greatly humbled. Big crocodile tears flowed from both my eyes and hers. There was a birthing of sisterhood between her and me that day.
Another time, years later, I was at a Bible Temple Elders wives retreat. The senior pastor’s wife, Edie Iverson announced that we were going to have a “foot washing.” Oh, no, here I go again. I wanted to run, I wanted to be excused and go to my room or just take a long walk off a short pier. At that moment in my ear I heard the voice of the Lord say to me, “Pride, Pride, Pride.” Oh, Lord help me. When the Lord says something to me three times, well I’d better listen. From the depth of my heart I was so ashamed of what I had felt and thought.
Pride is such an ugly thing, it thinks it is better than others. Pride thinks it is privileged over others, pride is always right and knows more. Pride wants it’s own way. The ladies took turns washing the feet of other and receiving the ministry and prayers as their feet were being washed. I sat there as my feet were washed and I was being prayed over by several ladies. Again, a great humility overwhelmed me. The pride melted away and I was so blessed as I received from others.
We don’t do this often, in fact a “foot washing service” is hardly done today. We do water baptism often and the taking of communion on a regular basis. Some think it can get to be familiar if we do these to often but foot washing and being humbled before man, well, think about it.
Many lessons were learned by me that day and the Lord has reminded me of them today. Bill was used to remind me that I not only should be a servant to minister to others but to let others minister as well. By allowing others to pray over me, I was able to encourage them in their ministry.
Pride, yes stinking pride, keeps us from receiving blessings from others.
Today, I thank you, my friend Bill Schiedler for being used of God to minister to others.