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Dirty Stinkin' Feet

The Indiana State Fair is well on its way now, which means the best of the best from all of the county fairs come together to compete. Our county fair was the last week of June this year, and I must say, it had to be one of the best weather years that we have had in a long, long time.

Typically, it seems like it storms RIGHT before the fair starts, so everything is muddy and nasty and filled with puddles. The parking area becomes a swamp, and at least one or two vehicles end up having to be towed out from being sucked into the mire.

And then there is the heat and humidity that takes its toll on you day after unending day.

But this particular year, it was perfect—at least for us who show sheep. We didn’t have to take the sheep to the fairgrounds until Tuesday, prepping was done on Wednesday, and then Show Day was all day on Thursday. All of those days were sunny, mild and not humid.

Best of all, THERE WAS NO RAIN anytime during or leading up to the fair!

Thursday really is a long day though. Our county has one of the largest, if not the largest, sheep shows in the state with hundreds of entries. We begin right at 8am, show until afternoon, take a short break and then continue with champions and showmanship at 6pm. Then we stay until 11pm when the animals that are going home get released. Fun, but exhausting, day.

Depending on how long the break is, we might just stick around the fair and visit, run to town or go to the home of some friends nearby to rest. This year we voted on the latter choice since we had a couple hours.

As we were leaving, my friend asked me if I wanted anything particular at her house while I was there. I stopped and thought about it a second and then replied…

“I just want to wash my feet!”

They were caked with thin layer after layer of dirt from the dry, dusty grounds this year. I wasn’t hot and gross like normal, but I felt weighed down by this filth on my feet peeking through my sandals. The dry weather I was so happy about before, now made me horribly uncomfortable.

When we got to the house, I immediately headed to the bathroom with a rag and just sat and washed and washed my feet with fresh, warm soap and water. IT FELT SO GOOD! I was like a new woman when I was done.

I couldn’t imagine what it would have been like to walk the dusty roads day after day in Jesus’ time. Now I understood exactly why there was a need for a servant to greet people at the door with a basin of water and a clean towel. You certainly wouldn’t want people running around your home with feet like mine were that day. But it was also simply a beautiful courtesy, an act of kindness to make the one receiving the washing feel clean and fresh.

I thought about that day when Jesus bent down and began washing the feet of His disciples.

“When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’

Jesus replied, ‘You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.’

‘No,’ Peter protested, ‘you will never ever wash my feet!’

Jesus replied, ‘Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.’

Simon Peter exclaimed, ‘Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!’

Jesus replied, ‘A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean.’”(John 13:6-10a NLT)

That’s how I was, clean, except for the dirt my feet had wandered into. That’s how many of us are spiritually as well. After Paul listed several descriptions of unrighteousness, he said, “And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11 HCSB)

We don’t need to be “saved” again. The blood of Christ has purchased us free and clear. We are His. But we are still oh so human, and we still fall oh so short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Our feet regularly wander into the dirt and filth of sin. Society wants us to live by the “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” motto. But I’m NOT okay. In fact, most days I’m a hot mess.

I don’t know if I even go a day without sinning in some way. Think of your own life just this past week as you read these definitions of sin.

Tend to talk things to death? “The more you talk, the more likely you are to sin. If you are wise, you will keep quiet.” (Proverbs 10:19)

Been arrogant or looked at someone haughtily? “The lamp that guides the wicked—

haughty eyes and an arrogant heart—is sin.” (Proverbs 21:4 HCSB)

Been jealous of someone or something? “But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind.” (Romans 7:8a NASB)

Taken communion while sitting there stewing about an argument or focusing on something else? “Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy way will be guilty of sin against the body and blood of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 11:27 HCSB)

Did you actually treat EVERYONE the same this week? “But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.” (James 2:9 NIV)

And my all-time favorite:

“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” (James 4:17 NIV)

You might be feeling pretty lousy right now after reading those verses and realizing the many sins we so often find ourselves meandering around in. But the beauty of grace is that you don’t have to keep walking around with dirty stinkin’ feet pretending you are always “alright.”

“If we say, We have no sin,’ we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9 HCSB)

So take those dirty feet and run, not walk, them straight to Jesus. He’s waiting to wash you clean again.


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#grace #forgiveness #Jesus

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