She giggled as I painted her feet. It was the cutest thing ever, but I hoped she would stop so that I could teach her the lesson. The other little ones (all 3 years old) were curious and quietly accepting of the tickly brush loaded with brown paint.
This wasn’t my idea ~ my teaching partner found the picture of the painted feet leading to a cross with the “We follow Jesus” slogan. When we were working out the logistics of cleaning their messy feet she said, “I’d really like to wash their feet.” Oh my, I think that was a Holy Spirit moment. I went and pulled out our crystal looking plastic bowl. Although the words were different with every child, the lesson was the same: Jesus washed his friend’s feet. He loved them and took care of them. Then he told them to go and do the same.
Did our kiddos understand the significance of this event? Of course not, but I hope that for some there will be a connection between the washing of their feet and the Washing of the Feet commemorated each Holy Thursday.
Last evening Tom and I attended the Holy Thursday Mass. It was a beautiful liturgy, but there was one event that captured my heart more than anything. As I started to go to the altar to receive Holy Communion, I watched as a young woman paused next to an elderly lady sitting alone in the pew. The elderly woman told her to pass, but the younger woman bent down and briefly spoke with her. I assume she asked if she could help her, because the elderly lady nodded and struggled to her feet. The young woman supported her to the altar to receive Holy Communion and then back again to her pew.
It was such a touching moment. I witnessed a true Washing of the Feet.
When he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? You call me Lord and Teacher, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” (John 13; 12-15, RCE)