Saturday, June 2, 2012

Walk in the Way of Love: Tokora

Washing the feet of a child as an expression of love and a demonstration of walking in the way of love (Ephesians 5:1-2) sounds simple enough. I think of when my children and grandchildren were young and how often I kissed those tiny smooth feet after their bath until they giggled and squirmed. But these children who have no shoes do have diseases picked up from the dirt sometimes causing oozing sores, bubbles, nodules, calluses, and the like – sometimes to the point that their toes barely separate – leave these feet just a hair less than kissable.

Darling Alinga was the first child to receive the gentle washing. Alinga has some mental disability but was drawn to the pre-conference praise and worship daily. She seemed to understand what was happening as I told her how much Jesus loves her and how she should show that love to others. Unbelievably nauseating might be the kindest way to describe these precious feet, yet I couldn’t bring myself to use the scrub brush I’d brought in anticipation of such an appearance. Instead I gently cupped her feet in my hands one by one and soaped them while tenderly cleaning off the dirt. Joanne and Hope were next. All of the children received their new pairs of Sensible Shoes and were quite happy to trot off in their bright new shoes.

Although these children may not have really understood what was happening, the pastors and leaders that surrounded us to watch most certainly did. Pastor Martin poured water on these feet in service to me and to the children and it was my joy to wash his feet as well. He and a few other pastors laughed nervously as they received the tender washing and prayers from my heart. I can honestly say this has been the sweetest experience I’ve had in a long time. All the pre-washing feelings of “eeeww” were just not there. Instead I felt so honored to be allowed to love and serve these people in such a simple way.

Thank you to everyone who sponsored a pair of shoes for these children. The blessing was all mine. I am already trying to find ways to continue this wonderful experience so if you’d like to join me, send me a note.

All photos courtesy of Bahati Photography.