Disabled Dogs Inspire Lesson in Mercy
“After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded…For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” John 13:5 & 13:15
After I saw paralyzed dog Mr. Simeon lovingly washing with his tongue senior dog Glory who has no eyes as severely disabled senior dog Little Miss Miracles sat sweetly by, I considered how Jesus calls His followers to wash one another’s feet – and how sinfully far short we fall in this.
Caring for disabled and senior rescued dogs, I am witness to the amazing, natural, instinctual love they have for one another. It’s convicting, for I wonder how those of us who profess to love Christ can so often neglect to wash each other’s feet – and love one another.
In America, we do not regularly wash one another’s feet other than parents washing the feet of a child or a caregiver washing the feet of the disabled or elderly. Mostly, we simply wash our own. How easy then it would be to wave off the verses above as being not applicable to these times. But not so! In Bible times, apparently washing another’s feet was the menial of all menial tasks. And there was Jesus washing another’s feet and demonstrating in His love how we should all love. To humble ourselves as such, washing the dirt off one another. In those times, how many walked barefoot? How filthy must have been their feet!
Our feet in modern times may be clean for those of us blessed to have shoes and showers and clean places to walk on when barefoot, but have we not all accumulated filth from the way we have walked through our lives? Have we not traveled for years and decades in places we should not have been, doing things we should not have done, accumulating the residue of the muck and mire and filth and scum of our sins against God and others?
Know what washing another’s feet makes me think of? Love, kindness, mercy, compassion, gentleness, helping, serving, and, yes, forgiveness. Like a loving mother tenderly, patiently, forgivingly washes the little feet of her kids who have made a mess in places they should have gone doing what they should not have done, should we not when we think of the love, grace, and mercy of God’s forgiveness of us when we believe in Christ extend to others His love and grace? Instead of condemning others for the hard, wrong places they have walked, should we not love and forgive them and humbly bend down beside them and tenderly tell them how Jesus died for them and that by repenting and believing in and following Him they can be washed clean by His shed blood and walk in fellowship with God forever?
Let’s repent of our pride and judgment and bestow upon others what God has so mercifully given us. The love of Jesus who is Christ!