[Jesus said,] “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” (John 13:17)
In any other year, O God, it would seem
simple enough. Remove shoes. Remove socks.
Place feet in water. Lave. Bathe.
Dry with towel.
For those few, at least, who are willing.
It was always a deceptive ease.
I rarely found the willing in an
“I’ll keep my dirty feet.”
Rather than let them be cleansed.
And so it falls once more
as it did so long ago.
Too few will take on “dirty work;”
too few will be cleaned.
Both cleaned and cleaners scorned.
Cleanse us, Lord, of our disdain
for cleaned and cleaners both.
May we find kinship with
forgiven and forgivers.
Perhaps you’d better wash our head and hands as well.
The image is of Jesus washing the feet of the apostles, a mosaic in the Duomo di Monreale, Monreale, Sicily, Italy. Photo by Sibeaster – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10756980.