By: Maggie Leonard
John 13:1-17, 31b-35
Reflection—v. 5, wash the disciples’ feet and wipe them
This past spring, I had the great privilege to walk across Northern Spain along the ancient pilgrimage trail known as the Camino de Santiago. Each day I rose before the sun and walked an average of fifteen miles a day. There wasn’t a body on the path that didn’t take a beating, our feet receiving the worst of it. We stayed in hostels each night—the root of the word originating in the word hospital, the trail’s original shelters where weary travelers were welcome to stay to rest and heal. About midway through, I stopped at a hostel wherein the host (the Spanish word shows the association between hospital, hospitality, the the person who offers hospitality) took to heart the historical significance of her position and establishment. She welcomed pilgrims into her office where she inspected their feet, cared for their blisters and ailments, and dispensed materials and advice for continuing to care for them going forward—all free of charge. It was a humbling moment to have her face inches from my foot, popping blisters, and cleaning the wounds. Her care was invaluable. This week, a group of nine women gathered at Mercy and graciously cared for the feet of our weary walkers—many members walk 15 miles daily in the city to meet their needs. The Harriet Tubman Foot Clinic is that beacon of hospitality, liberation, and compassion in our city. We are honored to be partnered with them and washing feet weekly at Mercy.
Prayer Guide our feet, holy God, that we may be moved to show your care to all.