It is tempting to look at Jesus’s miracles as the greatest
displays of His love. If you read carefully through the gospels,
it is the little things, the things we may even take for granted or hate, that display a love
that would even leave Shakespeare in awe.
I have heard that people like their feet massaged, and that pedicures are relaxing. Rubbing your spouse’s feet has been described as romantic and sweet.While that is true for others, the message I gave my dear wife was, “Do NOT touch my feet!”
My wife is a pleaser. Tabbetha will go out of her way to make sure you are happy (if it is possible). When we were first married it took some getting used to having someone do several mundane things for me. Of course, what I considered trivial, she interpreted as an action to make my life easier and pleasant. However, not everything Tabbetha assumed would be pleasing to me was actually so. One night she nearly had her face kicked when she tried to rub my feet. I couldn’t believe what she was doing. Tabbetha knew I was ticklish, but neither of us realized how sensitive my feet were. I have these ugly, finger-like, talon toes that I don’t like to show off unless I am at the beach. I never had anyone try to touch them before since I could remember. What Tabbetha, and it seems like many others, think is a soothing, relaxing action is nothing short of a atrocious for me.
That is one of the reasons why the story of the woman anointing Jesus’ feet with her tears, perfume and hair stands out to me. When I read it from my personal tastes and customs, this is not at all sweet and comforting. If I were Jesus I would have told the lady to back off. But, I’m not Jesus, and I have to read this story the way Jesus wants. When you read the anointing of Jesus’ feet in Luke 7:36-50, you are reading an account of grace, beauty and amazing acceptance.
While Jesus is reclining for a meal, this woman wet his feet with her tears, kissed and poured perfume on them, and wiped them with her hair. Like me initially, this action was not interpreted positively by the host of the meal, Simon the Pharisee, but for entirely different reasons. Simon looked down on this behavior because of who the woman was. He assumed if Jesus knew what kind of life this woman lived, then Jesus would not have allowed her to touch His feet. Jesus did not receive her attention as horrible, but accepted it as beautiful. The washing of his feet in such a personal, intimate way expressed her love and gratitude. She believed Jesus and the hope He offered, and wanted to love Him for it. Her attention expressed faith, and His allowing it revealed acceptance and fellowship. Who knew washing feet would ever mean so much?
Simon did not respect or accept the role of Jesus that others believed. Simon did not think he owed Jesus anything, even having His feet washed as was customary. Simon’s lack of attention revealed how little he loved Jesus. The woman’s washing of His feet only reflected her awareness of the great things Jesus accomplished in her life. Touching Jesus’ feet was a powerful testimony of faith. It is amazing how an action interpreted as ugly by some could be seen as precious by Jesus. Grace and love is what made the difference. While I admire Jesus’ acceptance of this woman’s love, I am still not letting Tabbetha touch my feet.