Jesus, my Lord.
What are you doing?
You must stop this now.
Look, everyone will see.
You can’t do this to me.
You’re the guest of honour.
Not the servant.
You’ll get your prayer shawl dirty.
Look, it’s going to trail in the water.
Dirty water for washing feet.
Are you mad?
Please get up now before everyone notices.
It’s not your job to wash hot and dusty feet.
That’s the servants’ job, not yours.
Come on, get up.
Please Jesus, please get up and stop this foolish nonsense.
As I lean on your shoulder, whispering in your ear I glance down and see your own feet.
I don’t think I’ve ever noticed your feet before.
Not the soles of them anyway.
Not like this.
These are strong feet, I notice.
They bear witness to your active life, tramping and travelling over rough roads and hillsides.
Bare, calloused, raw,
I see they are no prettier than my own.
There is something so vulnerable about the sole of a foot.
There is something so vulnerable about you kneeling here at my feet.
But it’s so wrong, Jesus.
This is not how it should be.
Look at me!
Look me in the eye and tell me what you’re doing.
This is making me so uncomfortable.
It is just so wrong.
I’m not some baby needing washed by an adult.
I’m not a toddler, held squirming over the water when I’d rather be running off outside.
I’m not an invalid, unable to wash my own feet, relying on the nursing of others.
I’m not an old man, being looked after by my daughter.
I’m a grown man, Jesus.
I’m no older than you.
Why would you do such a thing?
What are you trying to teach me?
Are you teaching me how to receive?
Is that it?
Is this a lesson in humility?
You know that I’d rather be in control, not submitting this way.
It is so menial, this job you are doing.
I don’t like the feeling of being reliant on someone else.
Not at all.
I like to be in control, thank you very much.
Is this what you are trying to teach me?
Or is it something else?
Is it about hospitality, learning to serve?
Is this what I need to learn?
But I’m a man!
It is not my job to serve, to offer hospitality.
That’s a job for the women, the servants.
Not a man’s job!
Is this what you want us to do?
Well let me tell you now, it will never happen.
Men kneeling at the feet of other men, washing feet?
Yet here you are…
Here you are doing exactly that.
You, my Lord and Master, my friend and brother, kneeling right here.
Oh my goodness, I just don’t know what to make of this, dear Jesus.
I am so confused.
Are we to serve too?
Are we to do this to others?
You know, I don’t know if I can…
But if you can, then I must.
As you wash my feet, I wonder who else you will do this to.
Will you do it to everyone, each one of us?
Surely not just me, Lord.
Will you do it to Judas?
Are we to reach out to everyone?
To wash the feet of all?
The weak and the hungry?
Those different from us?
Those from a different country?
Those from a different faith?
Surely not them?
And I look at your feet,
your vulnerable feet.
And I look at your hand,
resting so assuredly there.
And then I see your eyes,
reflected in the water of the bowl.
And our eyes meet.
You look sad, Jesus.
Are you sad with me?
Sad that I haven’t understood yet?
Are you sad with all of us?
That we haven’t done what you expected?
That we’re not ready yet?
Lord, I’m trying.
I’m really trying to understand.
Give me time and I’ll get it.
I know I will.
Just let me get my head round this awesome thing you are asking of me.
None of us are ready, Lord.
But I’ll try.
I know the bread and wine is waiting.
It lies there on the table, waiting.
But I know that we cannot share it until this is done.
That much I do know.
That much I understand now.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, let me serve you as you have served me.