So this is the tub where we bathe our 22 year old son. We all live with autism here. Maybe you live with something else. There are family caregivers of all sorts out there, bathing kids, spouses, parents, grandparents, even non-relatives who are in our care.
It isn’t pleasant or uplifting work. Sometimes it stinks. Sometimes it’s just a string of tasks to which we are numb.
This week, many Christians will be reminded that Jesus tried to teach a lesson by acting out a care giving chore:
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. (John 13:1-5 ESV)
He did it knowing that one of the people in whom he’d invested himself was going to harm him.
He did it knowing that others in his care would not understand what he was doing.
He did it even though the culture of his time considered foot washing to be low level “burger flipper” work, expected in “good homes” but insignificant in society.
He stood – I mean, he knelt – right where care givers hit the floor.
Let me offer you a bath. No, not with soap and water, but, I pray, with some words that encourage you:
- Wash away any thought that your work is a punishment from on high, because what you’re doing can be the most holy example of all.
- Wash away any thought that your work is meaningless, because such work is written as an eternal example.
- Soak in the knowledge that you might be among those chosen from the beginning to carry out work that reveals the heart of God to a lost and stumbling world,
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. (John 13:12-17 ESV)
We wish you well at this time of the year. A joyful Easter, if Jesus is your Lord and Teacher. A gentle and refreshing springtime, whatever your understanding of life. Comfort, strength and love to you and those in your care.