Carry The Message With You

Sunday’s Scripture ~ Romans 10:5-15

A not-so little known secret about me – I do not like feet. Nope. Not at all.

Shoes – yes.

Feet – no. No no no.

Why don’t I like feet? Well I am pretty sure it originated from my feet being very ticklish as a child…but then it evolved. I’m a good Polk County girl. I grew up on a dirt road. There was wooded acreage behind my house and a creek down the street. Who needed shoes when you had all of that to explore? I wanted to feel the earth between my toes…the earth and anything and everything else. So I’m okay with dirty feet…as long as the only encounter I have with dirty feet are with my own during the cleansing process.

Encountering someone else’s dirty feet…I’m going to have to do some praying about that.

It’s a big joke in my family about me not wanting anyone to touch my feet. From time to time my father-in-law will try to sneak a jab at my feet…but I’m usually one step ahead. Poor Andrew…one time he touched my feet…and I accidently had a true “knee jerk reaction” and broke his nose. For years this had been the reason I never had a pedicure…for fear I would end up with a fine for causing bodily harm to an unsuspecting pedicurist.

I will say that my friend Melissa coached me through my first pedicure for my birthday this year. My permanent record remains unblemished.

My friend Sara shares my disdain for feet…and as we were reminiscing this week about our lack of love for feet, Sara said, “I don’t like feet, but I love the beautiful things my feet can do.” What are those beautiful things? For Sara, those beautiful things include caring for her newborn and toddler sons as well as her husband. Those beautiful things include shepherding two United Methodist flocks in the Memphis Annual Conference. Those beautiful things include consistent service and advocacy for the rights of others – the widow, the orphan, and the stranger – in whatever form they present themselves. Why does she show this kind of care? Because that is who Sara is. She lives into the meaning of her name – servant. How beautiful are your feet, dear Sara. How beautiful, indeed.

The band Gungor sings a song entitled, “Beautiful Things.” This song choruses how God makes beautiful things out of ashes and dust. God makes beautiful things out of us so that we can do beautiful things in a world so full of shame, and pain, and fear. Paul’s letter to the Romans shares the good news of God making beautiful things – “No one who believes in [Christ] will be put to shame…for ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved’” (Rom 10:11, 13).

Those who call on the name of the Lord will be made new and beautiful creations. We will be saved. Our feet will be set soundly on the cornerstone that is Christ and then we will join him in service. Our feet may get dirty along the way – who knows what we will step in or pass through? What we do know is that Christ is and will always be our faithful companion – and united with him, our feet will lead us to do beautiful things.

Prayer: “All this pain / I wonder if I’ll ever find my way /I wonder if my life could really change at all.  All this earth / Could all that is lost ever be found / Could a garden come up from this ground at all.  All around / Hope is springing up from this old ground / Out of chaos life is being found in You.  You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of the dust.  You make beautiful things.  You make beautiful things out of us.  You make me new.  You are making me new.  You make me new.  You are making me new.”* Amen.

*”Beautiful Things” by The Michael Gungor Band, 2010.