Jump (Don’t Step) out of Your Comfort Zone
Posted in Serving/Missions
Scripture: “…Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love.… 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. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master…. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.’” – John 13:1, 12-17
My friend Kelley told me about Eastminster’s Foot Care Ministry several years ago. Visualizing Kelley sitting across from a homeless person, holding his feet, and giving him a pedicure conjured up distant memories of a “Prayer Meeting” at my small hometown church. I recalled walking into church during Holy Week and seeing tubs of water and washcloths on the floor. Wait! I thought I was going to a regular ol’ prayer meeting. There was chatter about feet washing. What? They expected a 14-year-old to wash other people’s feet? Looking around for an unnoticeable and quick exit path, I saw the preacher approach the pulpit. I was stuck.
The preacher talked about how just before the Passover, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and implored them to wash each other’s feet. He said, in Bible times, servants had the menial task of cleaning guests’ feet as they came in from the dirty, dusty streets, but Jesus, in one of his last days on Earth, expressed the “full extent” of his love by washing his disciples’ feet.
My worst suspicions unfolded into reality. We were re-enacting the feet washing of the Last Supper. According to the preacher, Jesus had to push the disciples outside their comfort zones and set the example. He said we would all be blessed by following Jesus’ example, and we were.
I was leery when Kelley told me about Footcare. She smiled and spoke enthusiastically about the blessings she and the other foot washers felt when they left Christ Central. Even though I’d participated in a foot washing service all those many years ago, I knew the folks whose feet I touched back then. This ministry in Columbia involved touching the feet of people I did not know! No jumping out of my comfort zone. I inched out. I observed, then I waited a month or two to go back and give a pedicure. It took time.
I’m now fully invested in the pedicures we give on Tuesdays. I’ve enjoyed warm, funny, rich conversations while pampering the feet of folks at Christ Central. I’ve shed happy and grateful tears when the people I meet thank me with gushing enthusiasm, saying things like, “I’ll be walking on marshmallows the rest of the day.” I’ve laughed and prayed with the homeless of Columbia and received so much more from the experience than I can describe. A fellow volunteer, Sara Lynn, says, “It is more about the heart than about the feet. It’s more about care and compassion than about toenail clipping.”
Ron Hall spoke to our congregation recently. He wrote a book with Denver Moore, a former homeless man. Moore shared great wisdom with Hall including the idea that most people see the homeless as problems, but God sees the homeless as an opportunity for the faithful to show the love of Christ. Hall shared that early in their relationship, Moore asked a question for Christians: Why do Christians worship a “homeless man” on Sundays and turn your backs on the first homeless person you see during the week?
Foot Care is a great opportunity to show the love of Christ and worship our Lord on a weekday! I ask you to consider jumping, not stepping, outside your comfort zone.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for loving all your children and for the examples you left us from your time on earth. Thank you for Eastminster’s Foot Care Ministry, for Christ Central and for the blessings heaped on us as your servants. Give us the push we need to jump out of our comfort zones. Speak Lord, your servant listens! Amen.
Submitted by Yolanda Courie