The Foot Washer

“He poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded”    

(John 5:13)

We went on a mission trip to Kenya in the summer of 2009. While we were there, we celebrated the feast of the Apostles on July 12th. During the Liturgy of the Apostle’s feast, we fulfill the rite of washing the feet. I prayed the liturgy there, and practiced the rite of washing the feet of the congregation.  Everyone attending was from the city there. They all came with bare feet or wearing slippers. The roads in Kenya are unpaved and dusty. I sat on the floor to wash their feet from the dust of the road. It was as if I was practicing this rite for the first time. Every time during my priesthood years in Egypt or America, I would just anoint the feet of the people, and their feet were always clean because they were wearing socks and shoes. When I finished the washing of the feet for the Kenyan congregation, the floor of the church where I washed their feet was all muddy (dust and sand mixed with water). I looked at this muddy floor and I rejoiced because the floor was dirty, but their feet were clean.


This realization took me to the scene where Jesus sat on the floor to wash the feet of His disciples. I contemplated in the Foot Washer, Our Lord Jesus, who washed the disciples from cowardness (Peter), doubt (Thomas), from failing in the test of faith (Philip in feeding the crowd), and from fear (all the disciples at the cross).


Our Lord Jesus Christ asked us to wash each others feet. I wonder how many of us are true foot washers or how many of us are truly willing to wash feet? How many of us are willing to sit in a muddy place, whereas all who come to are left clean?


It is not easy, but I pray for my weakness, for the church, for the servants and the shepherds all over the world so that we can all practice this great service. “the service of washing the feet.”  And there is no one to learn from except

“The true Foot Washer, Our Lord Jesus Christ.”