Peasant Hanging Out the Laundry by Berthe Morisot
Every day, everywhere I look, something or someone needs to be washed. Wash the dishes, wash the clothes, wash the counters, wash Peach's face, wash the lamb bottles and calf bottles, scrub the floor, wipe the table, muck the pens at the barn, wash my hands. Life on earth is messy. It requires washing of every kind. So often I think of my job as a homemaker and rancher's wife as a life of mundane chores -- a cooker, a washer lady, a housekeeper, a fixer of things broken, a helper. Nothing earth shattering, nothing of great importance, but something evidently worth the doing.
Even Jesus washed the feet of His disciples (John 13). He laid aside His garments, the very clothes that identified Him, and girded Himself with a towel. Did He do it to make a point or did He actually scrub dirty feet? I think both. I never think of Jesus doing anything halfway or ceremonially, or just to demonstrate. He wanted them to know (and me to know) that in this world, there would be dirty work to do, and that all of us need washing up.
Feet of a Kneeling Man by Albrecht DurerToday as I was washing my hands at the mudroom sink, a sink where the dirtiest of the dirty is cleaned off and cleaned up, I thought about how much I need washing up. We all do, don't we? Jesus, will you wash away the filth? Will you wash me every day because I'm dirty every day? At the sink, we use Kirk's Castile, a bar soap that is mild and yet really cleans our hands well. I always have a bar of it at the mudroom sink as along with a bottle of Ajax dishwashing soap for greasy hands that come in from the shop. I've just started using a homemade laundry powder, a recipe that a friend shared with me. I really like it too. It's mild and yet effective. Soaps for different kinds of washings. Isn't it just like God, to show us how to wash even the dirtiest of the dirty -- the feet? If the Lord Jesus washed His disciples feet with His own hands, how much more ought I be willing to wash what's dirty in His name?
Lord, keep me ever humble, washing feet, hands, bottles, boots, dishes, that I might know You and serve you quietly in whatever peculiar niche you have for me.