Stretch your hand and measure the height of your body from tip to top and find out how many spans it is. It must be approximately eight spans by your hand. And your head will be only one span length. A south-Indian proverb says, “In the human body that measures eight spans, the head measuring only one span gets the foremost importance”
Yet, “The head cannot say to the feet, I don’t need you” (I Cor. 12:21)
Sturdy, strong, stable and properly-shaped feet are a must for the human being to stand erect and move to desired places as well. The feet allow the body to have its centre of gravity within its area of support and keep itself erect and stable. Thus an erect man can keep his head held high from the ground that may be clean or dirty or uneven (or spiritually unholy). What a perfect supporting system made by God.
If the feet have a soft sole, we cannot walk. If they are deformed we cannot stand. If they are hurt we cannot move about. And if they are infected (often in the case of a diabetic person) it can spread into the body and affect other parts. Therefore, more care is taken to keep them safe, by using proper footwear from the day we began walking and until the end comes. Otherwise, we may take up the last journey very soon on the strong feet of pallbearers.
Footwear is being used by man from the very early days of history. On Mt. Horeb, God said to Moses from the burning bush “Do not come any closer, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus. 3:5). So we know that Moses while grazing his sheep on the mountain was wearing footwear to protect his precious feet. He knew, only then he can move hither and thither and at the end of the day, walk back to his home.
Man’s movements come to a halt when his feet become tired. He needs to rest his body as well as his feet. Normally a chair and foot-rest is preferred for this purpose. Great people like Kings and Lords used a footstool, well cushioned, to give proper rest to their feet. Decorated footstools made of precious metals were used to show their greatness and wealth.
King David knew its importance. So, he praised God and thanked Him for “He (God) set my feet on a rock” (Ps.40:2). Certainly it was not on loose soil, not on quicksand. David knew if it was so, he would have failed in ruling his country. Again King David adds: “His word is a lamp unto my feet’ (Ps.119:105.). They helped him to walk through a righteous path. Feet thus get utmost importance for a man who is alive and moving.
In Isaiah 66:1 the Lord says “Heaven is my throne and the Earth is my footstool.” Therefore, we who reside on this Earth are on the lowest part of His throne; we are always at his feet.
The Bible says “… God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. “(Eccl. 5:2), that is the reason, Mary of Bethany chose to be at the feet of Jesus and listen to His teachings rather than exchange pleasantries (Luke 10:38-41).
Some emotional facts about feet:
If one person kicks another, it is taken as the meanest treatment to a fellow being. Onlookers will not approve of such indecency. But a player kicking a ball and scoring a goal in a soccer game is applauded by the spectators. They will even hug him to show their happiness.
If you touch a person with your feet, it is disrespect. But if you touch by hand the feet of your parents or teacher or any elderly person, it is treated as an expression of the highest form of respect. In our country, all communities practice this gesture whenever the young meet the elderly persons.
An emotional anointing:
With the same kind of reverence and affection, Mary of Magdalene washed the feet of Jesus with her tears. “Then she wiped them with her hair, she kissed them and poured perfume on them.” (Luke. 7:36)
The demonstration of humbleness:
On the night of the last supper, Lord Jesus got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet. After a brief discussion about this act, finally he told his disciples: “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” (John. 13:14). By this He demonstrated how to be a humble servant before God.
Our Lord Jesus said:
“All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations – teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Mtt.28:19, 20). He sent his disciples to find the lost sheep first and teach them. (Mtt.10:6). “And if anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the Day of Judgment, than for that town.” (Mt.10:14, 15). Even the dust collected on the feet gains importance during such incidences.
The pierced feet of Jesus:
They also shed blood yet they supported him on the cross till He said “It is finished” and completed His assignment on the cross to set us free from our sins. So “we preach Christ crucified” (I Cor.1:23.) being the “Good News” for mankind to be made free from sins. We obey His command and move on the Earth on our feet.
Prophet Isaiah and Apostle Paul just wonder at these feet that take the Good news everywhere.
They walk on plains, on green pastures, and the soft grass fields comfort them.
They walk on the desert, hot and rough sand burning them all the way.
They walk on thorny ground that pierces them and bleeds them.
They walk on the hilly region on stones that have no mercy for them.
They walk on fertile land to sow good seed that will yield a hundredfold.
They walk on the land of their friends who may accept them.
And walk on the land of people who may reject them.
But the love of Christ gives them the strength to carry on . . .
Oh! “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News….!” (Isa.52:7, and Rom. 10:15.)
‘Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight …’
Author – C. Samuel Gift (Bethel Seniors Fellowship, Bethel AG Church, Bengaluru)
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