So maybe you've been to a church where you've had a foot washing service. ComChap had ones around Easter in Richmond... So you go, there's a basin of water, and you wash your friends' (or acquaintances) nice, already clean feet.
Recently, I have come to realize more what it would actually look like when Jesus washed the disciples feet or when the woman washed Jesus' feet with her hair. My feet stay in a pretty constant state of dirty-ness. Despite multiple washings... Underneath the toenails, around the cuticles, I just can't get the dirt out, even if I'm wearing tennis shoes, somehow the dirt gets into the shoe and sock... So imagine what it was like in Biblical times when the streets were not paved and they didn't have easily accessible running water. Washing feet takes on a whole new meaning when you think of what it was really like.
But to be honest, I would love to have someone really take the time to scrub my feet clean...I've been working on it myself obviously, but sometimes you just can't bend your leg up well enough for a long period. I have been doing some feet cleaning myself today - when a person has been casted for months, basically a couple millimeters of skin on the sole of their feet will flake off with a little rubbing. I had the chance to take the cast off (my best looking bivalved cast to date I might add...my casting skills are slowly improving) of a kid who is finally out of the cast after months, and picked off quite a lot of skin. (It gets kinda addictive, like when you're peeling after a sunburn.) He took his first steps with crutches out of the cast, and he was very excited to be done with the cast. (His feet still needed some cleaning at home though...)
So contrast that with one of my favorite verses: "How beautiful are the feet of those that bring good news." Or in context: Romans 10: 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
So when you think of Jesus' dirt-caked feet and how good the news was that He brought, I'm not quite so concerned about my dirty feet, but bringing the good news - most commonly for me that equates into: "You're healed enough to come out of your cast", or "You're improving, and I'm so proud of you". But that's perhaps a little more shallow than I should be - the ultimate good news is that Jesus loves each and every one of my patients and coworkers, so that when I give the "bad news" of "there's nothing else I can do to help", "the orthopedic surgeon is no longer here", "we have to cast your child's feet again because they're relapsing into the club foot position" - if I could be intentional about sharing the true good news in the happy and the sad, maybe then I would approach having some beautiful feet... Despite the dirt, plaster of paris and other random things on them...
P.S. Another thought on cleaniliness... You know when you were growing up and your mother told you to wash behind your ears (I don't really remember if Mama had to tell me this often), and I always thought that was such a silly thing. I mean, that spot never gets dirty. Well, welcome to Conakry, where you get dirty behind the ears...TIA (This Is Africa).
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
So work has been going well - I'm starting to get the hang of things a bit more - I still am not very good about casting, but since many of the patients are getting out of casts at this point, it's more like what I would do in the States as far as restoring range of motion, regaining strength and the ability to walk. We just got our new hand therapist in - Emily is from England and is very good at what she does as a hand therapist. As we begin the Plastic surgery rotation in March, with another hand therapist coming in, I will get to learn a lot about contracture releases, scar management, pressure garments, splinting, etc.