My feet were sore. I was with friends on the Pacific Crest Trail for a couple of days at the end of August and towards the end of my first day, nearing twelve miles I could feel the blisters forming on the bottom of my feet. The next day, as we hiked back, I felt my feet every mile. The middle toes on both feet throbbed and I felt a blister on the pad below my big toe. But there was nothing to do but keep walking.
It is funny, we don’t often think about our feet until they hurt. When everything feels right, we are focused on where our feet take us and who we are with and not on our feet themselves. But when our feet hurt, we can think of little else.
As I was hiking, I thought about my feet and I wondered about Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 12:23, “The parts of the body that we think are less honorable are the ones we honor the most.” Isn’t this just like our feet?
Jesus’ feet were dirty and sore from walking town–to–town across Galilee. When he stripped off his outer robes and knelt to wash the disciple’s feet in the upper room on the eve of his crucifixion (John 13), the disciples were scandalized that their Lord would stoop down to the level of a lowly servant and wash their feet. And yet caring for his disciples’ feet was a way of expressing profound love and honor for them.
Of course, when Paul talks about the parts of the body in 1 Corinthians, he isn’t really talking about our physical bodies but the interconnection we have with one another in the body of Christ. But my aching feet got me thinking. Are there people in my life I don’t notice until they cause me pain? Are there people we treat like feet? People we rely on but take for granted most of the time? The parts of the body we think are less honorable are the ones we honor the most. I am mindful that in my journey with Christ, learning to love “the least of these” is learning the way of love that Jesus calls us to.
I had a fun time on the trail, despite my sore feet. But when I got home, I washed my feet and gave them well–deserved rest. Who are the people in our lives who need special care right now?