ACE volunteer Christina Kershaw came down on a mission trip with Bethel Baptist Church in 2018. As she was recently reflecting on her time in Jamaica, she wrote the following devotional. May her experience and reflection bless you during this Lent season!

READ: John 13:1-17

Story time: I had the amazing opportunity to spend a week on mission serving with ACE in Jamaica back in 2018. Prior to covid, the local infirmary was open for visitors to come hang out and minister to the residents. These residents consisted of mostly elderly men and women who had no family, were disabled, or just had no place in society outside of the infirmary walls… the “forgotten,” for lack of a better word.

We had the opportunity to sing songs, play games, paint their nails, and even apply lotion for them. I went ahead and grabbed a bottle of lotion and went around slathering everybody up! I thought, “This is nothing new. I’m in my comfort zone. I basically do this for a living working as a nurse at the hospital.” So great! Until…. one of the residents asked me to lotion up her feet. Her BARE FEET with my BARE HANDS. Up until this moment, everyone had been getting nice little hand and arm massages from me, but I didn’t dare go for anyone’s feet!

I was hesitant. I asked her to clarify it was in fact her feet she wanted me to lotion. She, of course, nodded yes. I started sweating (and it wasn’t because of the Jamaican sun). If anyone knows me personally, I can be quite the germaphobe, so the thought of me touching someone else’s feet (without gloves like in a hospital and ESPECIALLY someone I don’t know) freaked me out just a little bit.

I pumped a few squirts of Suave lotion, said my prayers, and went for it. She thanked me and I continued on to the next person.

WHY am I telling this story you ask?

Right before I decided to tend to her feet, I immediately thought of the story in John 13 where Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. Feet are one of the dirtiest parts of the body, especially the feet that walked the earth during ancient times. It was cultural for men to wear open sandals and sometimes even be barefoot. Imagine the dust, dirt, and grime that these disciples had hiding in between their toes! But, Jesus, the King of the cosmos, humbled Himself and washed their feet. Wow.

To put this into perspective, read how Jesus “knew his hour had come” and yet, He still ministered to His friends. He knew that He was about to be tortured in insufferable ways, die a horrible death, and ultimately be ripped apart from His Father in just the next few hours! Can you imagine all the agony He was feeling inside knowing these terrible events were happening, and happening soon?

And yet…

He served His disciples and washed their feet. Not only would He make one of the dirtiest parts of their bodies clean, but soon, completely and eternally cleanse them of the dirt in their hearts that separated them from the Father. Jesus, who rightfully deserves ALL glory and worship from us, humbled Himself to a man to serve us and die for us. How much more should we as His followers walk in His footsteps and love others just the same?.

The next time you are faced with an opportunity to minister to your neighbor, think of your Savior and don’t forget to WASH THEIR FEET!

PRAY: Thank You, Lord, for humbling Yourself and dying a criminal’s death so that I may live eternally with You. Thank you for washing away all my iniquities and making me a new creation. Help me to die to my flesh daily and serve those around me so that they may know and experience Your love for them. Amen.

John 13:14: “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”

Happy Easter!