When I was a little girl I remember going to a Maundy Thursday service at my church. I didn’t really want to go because all the stories I had learned about what happened to Jesus before Easter scared me. My mom said this mass had to do with the last supper, but she didn’t prepare me for what I saw... the priests who I respected and feared got down on their hands and knees and washed men’s feet.
I was confused...why would the priests... the guys who wore the fancy robes and stood above us on an altar when they said mass... why would they bow down like this to regular people from our congregation... and touch their feet? Feet are nasty... they are dirty and gnarly looking, especially on old people... bunions and corns... really gross.
But they were doing it, and they didn’t look grossed out... they were reverent. Reverent touching feet? It just didn’t make sense to me.
During the the deacon explained that Jesus washed the feet of his apostles before the last supper. He said that Jesus wanted to show the apostles how Christians are to express love to one another through humble service.
The notion of a humble leader did not make much sense to me for a long time. Probably because most people who gain power, gain ego along with it. I couldn’t image my mayor, state governor, and most especially the president of our country washing anyone's feet.
But now I see humility as a sign of a true leader; one who represents all people, not just his supporters. I am saddened by the lack of humility I see in political service today. There doesn’t seem to be any “Mr. Smiths” in Washington today. All I see is a lot of self interest and egoism. There is little kindness, few representatives reach their hands across the table and show respect for an oppositional viewpoint.
Wouldn’t it be interesting this coming election year if candidates had events were they washed voter’s feet. Would any of the candidates be willing to do this? Could you even picture any of them theoretically washing feet? Do you think any of the candidates have that level of humility in them?