John 13:7- “Jesus replied, you don’t understand yet the meaning of what I’m doing, but soon it will be clear to you.”
I sat on the deck and looked down at the rushing creek below. I had so many questions, so many aches on my heart. I had two days set aside in a beautiful mountain getaway. We were nestled on the side of a mountain, with the sound of the rushing water always in our ears. A stone path led down to the creek, where I felt drawn to go.
In John 13, Jesus knew what was coming. He knew He was soon going to have to leave those he loved on earth.
“…Jesus had demonstrated a deep and tender love for them. And now he longed to show them the full measure of his love. (John 13:1)”
He got up from their meal and prepared to wash their dirty feet and dry them with his towel. This was the custom that servants would clean the feet of guests at the master’s house. I can picture the shock on the faces of the disciples. Simon Peter, bold as he was, objected. No Lord! Why are you doing this?
Jesus simply answered, you don’t get it yet, but you will.
Jesus. You want to wash my feet?
“Jesus said to him, ‘You are already clean. You’ve been washed completely and you just need your feet to be cleansed. (13:10)”
My heart aches. I need to be washed. All of me!
Go put your feet in the water.
I had already been down to the creek. I was tired, my knee hurt, and I questioned.
Go put your feet in the water. Will you do that so I can wash your feet? I do not need to wash all of you, just the dirty parts.
Eventually I got up from my chair and began to walk down the path. As I approached the water, I knew this was important. I still didn’t get it though.
I am here Jesus.
I had to work to find a spot where I could safely get my feet into the creek. It was not easy. Once my feet were in the water, I stood there for a minute.
I didn’t feel any different, and I found a way back out of the water. I had to climb back up the path, made more difficult with slippery wet feet.
Ok Jesus. I put my feet in the water. Is that it?
You have dirty places in your heart that I want to wash clean. Just the dirty parts- will you let me?
Over the next few minutes, I began to understand. We all have wounds in our hearts, dirty places, if you will. Heart- work is hard work sometimes. Like the struggle I dealt with to get my feet into the water, we find ourselves face to face with our personal demons, our dirty places.
These dirty places are keeping you from flowing freely like the water.
One of the stumbling blocks in recovery is that we stop moving forward. Our untended dirty places keep us stalled. This does not mean we are not healing. It does not mean we are not doing the right things. It is not about doing the right things.
Are you willing to put your feet in the water? Are you willing to put in the effort to move forward?
Both individuals in recovery and family members need to move forward. We need to be able to flow like the water down the mountain.
Jesus wants to show you the full measure of His love. He wants to wash your dirty places, to show you just how much He loves you. Ask me, and I will show you your heart.
I will love you to me. I will love you all the way into the water. Then I will love you all the way up the hill. I will love you forward.
“So now put into practice what I have done for you… ( 13:17)”
Love them to me.