Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"I love you sooo much, Jesus, I love you so much...!"

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of they who bring Good News, who publish peace, who bring Good News of happiness. Isaiah 52:7

Tonight I was ambushed by the older girls- in a good way. In fact, in a holy memorable unforgettable God-glorifying way.

You see, they've been asking me if they could paint my toenails before I returned to David. So I finally agreed, but this was WAY more than a teen toe-painting party. They filled two basins with water: one for feet and one for hands. Then four girls went to work at once in washing and massaging my hands and feet. I was floored. They were incredibly thorough.

Honestly, no one has ever spent time like that on my feet before. I don't give a lot of time to beautifying my body. In fact, I remember living in a Mexican dump in my 20's and my cousin came to visit and remarked that my feet looked old. The thick callouses they sported from a decade of long-distance running made sure they'd never be nominated for a magazine shoot, that was for sure. But I was surprised by his comment, even though I hadn't paid much attention to them. That's because I'd never compared them to anyone elses. They were just my feet. If you asked me if they were young or old, I would have looked at you funny, and just told you they were the feet of someone my age- because they were.

Well, my aged feet took on a beauty of their own tonight, thanks to some teens whose histories are ones of abuse and abandonment. They have traded their sorrows for beauty, their fears for strength, their mourning for gladness and potential bitterness for kindness- and I was blessed to be the recipient of it all in a stunning display of God's grace.

Besides washing and cleaning my feet, they filed the nails, pushed back the cuticles and massaged them thoroughly before finally painting them. It wasn't an efficient operation by any means, but it was a slow deliberate act of love. I was lavished by their love. Singing, talking, laughing...I will never forget tonight. By the time they got to the toenail painting, darkness had spread its blanket across the land, so it was all done by flashlight.

And then they began to sing, "I love you sooo much, Jesus, I love you so much...." Over and over they sang this line. Maybe because they didn't know the rest of the song, or maybe, simply because they were overcome by its Truth.

I have so much emotion welling up inside me, I want to say more, but their thorough act of love has left me speechless. I am undone by their love. And I am reminded of the man who defined love for us with His life:

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:12-17

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