Faith Stories: A Rush of Love and Compassion
I never realized the importance behind the concept of foot washing until I was the one on my knees doing it myself.
The Wesley Foundation at LSU went to Nashville, Tennessee, in January where around 30% of the population is, as they like to say, “unhoused.” While we were all on the mission trip, they told us one day we would be doing a “foot clinic” at a charity called Loaves and Fishes.
As young college students, we were all freaking out. We knew this was way out of our comfort zone, and we couldn’t fathom the amount of germs and dirt that may be involved. But we put on brave smiling faces and went with hope that we would make a difference.
When I entered into the building I felt a rush. It was a rush of love and compassion, and for the first time I felt that God was calling and pushing me to do this act of humbleness. That was a day that I will never forget because I learned that so many of these people who had only their feet for transportation were so similar to me but with greater struggles. They were able to truly open up to me and talk about their lives because they felt at ease. They opened up because I was the one serving THEM. They were able to look past the fact that I had a car and a loving family and look at me as an equal and as a friend.
After washing their feet, one gentleman called Tennessee gave me a cross that was made of twig and string. I tried not to get emotional because someone who had absolutely nothing was giving me a present. God’s love was so great in that moment that I truly felt His grace and mercy all at once.
I never really understood the story of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples until I was the one doing it myself. I invite you in this time of Lent to reflect on different acts of giving. Whether it’s giving your time just to talk, or giving your time to clean someone’s feet! Whatever it is, I guarantee you will feel not only a greater love for the other person, but also a greater sense of what God’s love is like for YOU.
Mary Hannah Prevot