Christ Jesus dined with a ranking member of a Jewish sect one evening. Before dinner started, a woman from town found out he was there and bought an expensive bottle of perfume. Luke’s gospel says, “Then she came and stood behind Jesus. She cried and started washing his feet with her tears and drying them with her hair. The woman kissed his feet and poured the perfume on them.” (See Luke 7)
The significance to us of this story isn't so much the physical act. Mary Baker Eddy once referred to the woman's tears as “tears of repentance.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, 367) Jesus remarked that the woman showed such love for him because she had been forgiven so much – a way of saying she had progressed a great deal in her life under the influence of the Christ.
He allowed himself to be bathed in her love and gratitude. Why? Because it did him good to receive refreshment and support from one who had paid the price for progress in her own life, and who was willing to share the blessing with him.
- Sweat effort of self-knowledge, humility and loving others even when it is difficult
- Joy of leaving behind unnecessary and restrictive thoughts and behaviors
- Gratitude for a new clean, pure life.
Have you ever been bathed in someone’s tears of repentance? Have you ever been blessed by someone's efforts to grow spiritually and their willingness to share their experience with you, for you? By the correction of their mistakes? By the joy in making progress? By their gratitude for and expressing of pure inspiration?
Then you have had your feet washed by their tears of repentance. And I bet it felt really good.
Some resources for a good spiritual foot-washing today:
The Bible records the footsteps of progress of men and women from all walks of life. Let their growth and experiences shed light on your path and lead the way.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, once wrote: “The Discoverer of this Science could tell you of timidity, of self-distrust, of friendlessness, toil, agonies, and victories, under which she needed miraculous vision to sustain her, when taking the first footsteps in this Science. The ways of Christianity have not changed. Meekness, selflessness, and love are the paths of His testimony and the footsteps of His flock.” (Rudimental Divine Science 17:10-17)
The Christian Science periodicals present modern day examples of putting God’s law into practice. Writers express from their hearts their most deeply valued lessons about God, man, spiritual reality, healing and redemption of their lives from the influences of evil.
Christian Science practitioners are making more and more of their experiences and insights available on the web.
This is part 2 of a 4 part series on foot-washing. Read the first post in the series.