The Toes of Little Boys

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While visiting an orphanage in Mozambique, several of us decided to have a little foot-washing ceremony with the children. We hoped to demonstrate a selfless and servant-hearted love to them. We wanted to erase the pain in their hearts and replace it with Father’s love. Since it was evening some of the little fellows had already tumbled off to sleep in the dormitories by the time we arrived, armed with water, strips of old bed-sheeting and some leftover dish soap. We didn’t wake the three little guys who were asleep arm-in-arm all in the same tiny bed, but several were still awake and curious as to our presence.

They sat side-by-side on the long bench, grubby from a busy day in the hot and dusty African sun. We knelt before them, gently and simply explaining that this is what Jesus would do, if He were here, and the translator helped us request the honor of showing our love in the same way. Will I ever forget the roughness of their feet, caked with mud and little torn toe nails? How they responded to my loving touches! Tousled heads, bashful and yet hungry for love, cheeks like downy feathers, their eyes searched mine to see if they could trust this act of love.

I couldn’t help but wonder where these grubby little toes had been that day. Many of the children had been rescued from the dumps that overflowed with the stench and smoke of burning filth. Where would these same feet be in 15 years? Would they become the refined and reliable feet of one who runs in the will of the Father? Or would these feet be caught in the thicket of life once more, and struggle to stay in the Presence of the Holy One? And what about these bruised and bloody knees in front of me? How easily I perceived Father’s thoughts when He has gazed at my wounded heart and mused, “Now what was it that caused My daughter’s heart to bruise like this?” And yet He needn’t ask the questions for He knows the answers. He knows our times and our places, and is intimately acquainted with all our ways. As we washed the feet of the little boys, it was impossible for any of us to hold back the tears because all were aware of the dirt and pain being washed away, and what newness of life comes when we’ve been washed clean.

Take a moment today, while basking in the presence of the Lord, and allow Him to wash your feet, and your heart. Allow His living water to break down the hardened places in your life which have become calloused from running your life your way. Sit with Father a while so that He can bandage your wounds. Like the Good Samaritan He’ll be faithful to pour in the oil and wine, first softening our wounded places so they’ll be receptive to His cleansing touch.

“But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. Luke 10:30-37

Pictured is my dear friend Kim Campbell as she prays for her sweet refugee children. This is what love looks like.

2 thoughts on “The Toes of Little Boys

    jan said:
    April 21, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Oh Sam, This was so beautifully written, that I felt as if I was there experiencing it first hand. I want Jesus to wash my feet…jan

      Samantha Penhale said:
      April 21, 2013 at 9:23 pm

      Jan … me too, Friend. Me too.

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