“How would you respond if Jesus took off your shoes right now and began to wash your feet? Try to envision this.” -Francis Chan
This question stopped me in my tracks when I read it, and not in a good way. When I thought about it and got real honest, the answer made me recognize the true state of my heart and come to terms with where I’ve really been with Jesus for quite some time now.
Honestly, if He walked up to me I’d probably tell Him no and give every excuse in the book as to why He cannot touch my feet or wash them. If He kept trying, I’d probably reluctantly give in, but still sheepishly look around at who was watching with the feeling of embarrassment completely submerging me in a bath.
This was a big revelation for me.
Once I sat with that realization for a few hours, I started writing and telling him in the most sassy tone ever how I would react to Him washing my feet and then landed on some really big questions:
What have I done to deserve that kind of attention and love?
Do I really know Jesus?
And naturally, does He really know me?
It’s easy to scramble around everyday singing that Jesus loves me because the Bible tells me so and then move on with my day without recognizing the real weight in that statement. Am I actively living by the truth I spit out and furthermore, am I living like it’s really the truth in my own heart?
The base question about Jesus washing my feet really lead me to see that maybe I only know Him in the context of my own mind — still.
Despite having seen all He is across the world, my mind still believes Him to be quite small, not big.
Condensed in a box, not supernaturally larger than a simple jack-in-the-box.
A deliverer, but only for other people.
A Father who finds the sheep that runs away and carries it home, but not me. I have camouflage sheepskin.
Maybe He’s missing me? Maybe I’m missing Him?
I know Him as a Father I can go to, but have I allowed Him to come to me and show me the way He sees me and loves me? Or have I been keeping Him lightyears away at arms length because that’s what’s comfortable to me; what feels safe?
I hate vulnerability.
Somehow, unloading on a page to type up and post on a blog feels more naked to me, yet I find that sharing on the internet is safer. Everyone and no one can see here and it is by their choice to be here. Sharing and unleashing by way of tears coming down my cheeks like rain… In person? Talking about what’s going on? Forget about it. I’d rather run to the bathroom to hide and give myself a pep talk looking in the mirror before letting anyone see me cry, especially if it’s people that see me on a consistent basis.
When I first meet you, you’ll know I wear my heart on my sleeve. You will know the true authentic me because there is no chance I’ll be around long enough to stay. If there’s a slight chance I might stick around for the long-haul, I retreat, regretting the original decision to let myself be seen entirely. If you stay around long enough to see me through the retreat, there might be a sunflower waiting to grow again, but you best be helping me tend to it carefully before you see me in complete bloom again.
Here’s the thing: Every time I get any semblance of close to anything, I find a way to self-destruct and anyone who is there when I do is sure to get burned. I’d rather people remain at a safe range apart and so I get all hermit-mode and distant instead. It takes an army that only I can lead to pull me out of the deepest valley.
What I’m saying is that I do the exact same thing with Jesus. When He is supposed to be the one I let in on my mess, I find a way to hole in and break the bridge we’ve spent so long trying to connect. Despite His best efforts, I am still not comfortable enough with letting Him lead in the staying still, and so I take that leadership of my life instead of resting in His.
I know where I need to go after thinking through all of this. I see the end result because I’m a visionary, but the magical word I hate called “time” makes me actually roll my eyes so hard I could go blind.
How long until I actually get there? A lifetime?
I think Jesus’s simple answer to that question would be this: