Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Service

Washing Feet
A devotional by Sharon Musgrove

“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.” –John 13:14-15 (ESV)

This devotional is being written as I prepare to leave India, traveling home at a time of crisis. My husband and I have been on a two-week tour seeing and experiencing the great history and culture of this country. Our itinerary has not only covered great sites like the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, but included visiting families choosing a more “primitive” lifestyle, homesteading in the country. We peeked into yesterday’s grand India while walking in today’s culture.

When meeting our Tour Director, I expected a guide with great knowledge and an energetic personality, but Mr. Kohli’s demeanor surprised me. He was highly educated and polite, yet reserved. In hindsight, I understand his decorum was appropriate, however initially I was skeptical thinking he was stand-offish.

With only four in the group, it was really more of a private tour. My husband and I were joined by a Canadian woman and her special needs adult child. Our group dynamic was a complete twist from what I had anticipated. Special needs require special attention.

As we traveled from city to city, touring monuments, memorials and museums, the days were long and full. The energy of crowded streets and minimal regimen created a sensory overload. The stress proved difficult, not just for us, but especially our fellow travelers. The growing coronavirus pandemic rolled in like an ominous bank of storm clouds, adding temptation to worry.

It was Mr. Kohli’s calm confidence that made a successful trip possible for us. Had he been one to ride on adrenaline, we’d have been in chaos. This man was our North Star in many ways. He was a teacher. He was an authority. He was our protector. But overall, he was a servant.

Sometimes I have difficulty relating to the stories in the Bible to my everyday life. Are you like me? Jesus Christ’s last supper act of washing feet is hard to identify with because we don’t practice that service in the western world. Remaining focused on that fact, I lose the meaning of what Jesus was conveying.

In a time of great personal distress, Jesus took off his coat, rolled up his sleeves and served. He asked his followers to do the same. Don’t let this timing be lost on you! Jesus was moving toward suffering and death, and yet, he bent low, washing foot after grimy foot, leaving out no one.

Mr. Kohli, though not of Christian faith, has diligently served the four of us foreigners in a time of significant worldwide stress. He has gone above and beyond with our awkward group. He has washed my feet.

As I wrote this devotional, I was preparing to board one of four flights to return home. Each of those planes has a crew whom are not flying home during crisis. They are washing my feet.

I cannot know what will be happening in future weeks, with respect to the Coronavirus pandemic, but I know the position I must take: that of washing feet.

I am not immune to the temptation to worry or be swept up in speculation, therefore I must be intentional in keeping my mind set on the examples of Jesus and those following his example.

Whose feet are before you?

Author Bio:

Sharon Musgrove is a self-proclaimed sociologist. The opportunities opened to her, over the years, have led her on a fascinating journey observing human behavior. 

She has a diverse background in business, fitness and health industries. This background led her to a unique position writing curriculum and teaching for two private, Christ-based, residential recovery programs. Both recovery programs served women primarily from the homeless community.

Sharon has traveled multiple times to Kenya, serving on medical teams and teaching in the rural Maasai communities. She's been privileged to participate in Leadership camps for maturing young women. These annual camps have a mission of encouraging and empowering the impoverished, underprivileged, and often abused young Maasai girls.

Easily identifying personally with the brokenness of the women she's served, Sharon now sees all people as needing more encouragement regardless of cultural or socioeconomic status. Within these ministries, Sharon has witnessed the transformative power of loving words spoken to the broken-hearted. Sharing God’s love and witnessing its transformative power has become her passion.

In her leisure time, Sharon enjoys her garden, health food, travel and a good story. She and her husband, Jeff, make their home in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. They have two grown children. Currently, Sharon is writing her first Christian historical fiction novel utilizing her study, experience, and understanding of self-destructive behaviors.

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