Bare Naked Feet

Sunday she received communion with her shoes off. Yep, she up and walked out of that row, walked into the aisle and up to the front, shoes off. She received the bread and the cup, the Body and the Blood, just like that. No shoes, yet she received.

Bare naked feet approach the Holy.

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She’s been making it a habit. Bare naked feet. Almost every Sunday, right there in the second row, middle section, right up in the front. (It is after all, our usual, unreserved, unofficial spot.) But for goodness sake, someone’s going to see those bare naked feet one of these Sundays. Unabashedly my sweet sixteen stands there, like it’s perfectly normal to be in church with her shoes off.

No shoes. No tights. No socks. Just bare naked toes and feet.

Any good church-goin’ mama would say, “Girl, put your shoes back on before you approach the Holy.”

One of those Sundays, I unassumingly glance right, further down the row, and there they are – several pairs of bare naked feet. What?! How did they get the memo and I did not? What is she seeing and hearing that I am not? What are they seeing and hearing that I am not? To my raised eyebrows and questioning glance, in my heart this is what I hear… “Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5) And to that my innocent plea, “I don’t see the burning bush, the red jumping flames all around. I am not hearing the crackling brush under fire.”

“…the place where you stand is holy ground.”

The assembling and gathering of souls wholly redeemed -Holy ground! The worshiping and proclaiming of God’s worth-ship – Holy ground! The gifting, the tithing, and the offering – Holy ground! The praying, the confessing, and the prompting – Holy ground! The speaking, the expounding, and the encouraging – Holy ground! The saving and the healing, the transforming and renewing – Holy ground!

Bare naked feet approach the Holy.

With bare naked feet we gather on equal footing, perfectly leveled ground. With bare naked feet we stand as one, not the lesser nor the greater, but forever together.

With bare naked feet we recollect the Creator’s naked unashamed. With bare naked feet we sense the in-the cool-of the-day God with us. With bare naked feet we remember the toilsome cursed ground.

Bare naked feet approach the Holy.

Twelve of them. For one last supper. Holy lays aside His garments and readies Himself. Holy pours water and wipes with a towel, washing their bare naked feet.

Bare naked feet scream vulnerable at Holy’s humble entreat. Bare naked feet beg for an all encompassing wash, rinse and repeat.

And Holy’s gracious reply, “One who is bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean…” (Gospel of John chapter 13)

Bare naked feet approach the Holy. And Holy washes their feet.

Oh friend, will you join me in approaching Holy with your bare naked feet? Approaching Holy is overwhelmingly vulnerable, isn’t it? It compels us to recognize our deep inability to make ourselves whole and complete. The cold hard floor on exposed feet reminds us of our bare nakedness and desperate need.

How promptly I self identify with Jesus’ friend Peter. Keenly aware of my nakedness before Holy, I quickly and vehemently step back, refusing such an offer!

“I couldn’t.” “I can’t!” “He wouldn’t.” “He can’t!” “The washing of my feet by Holy?”

And just as quickly, I conclude that if my feet need washing, oh my, so does the whole of me!

“LORD Jesus, wash the whole of me!” With sweepingly abundant mercy and grace, Holy stoops to wash our feet. Not only in part, but amazingly the whole!

My sweet sixteen is onto something. On Sundays we gather alongside her with bare naked feet.

With bare naked feet we approach the Holy. And Holy washes our feet.

With bare naked feet, loosed and freed are we! With bare naked feet, set apart and holy are we!

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