Dirty Feet

Woman Soaking Her Feet

Even though I washed my feet thoroughly in the shower yesterday morning, I happened to catch a glimpse of them later on in the day. I was completely mortified by the collection of filth I saw. In just a few short hours, dirt had not only accumulated on the soles of my feet but was visible between each of my toes too. Yuck!

North Carolina might very well be the Tar Heel State, but I’m here to attest that feet get dirtier in the Peach State.

In fact, I now have theory:  The further South you travel the dirtier your feet become.

Yesterday, as I prepared to wash my feet for the second time in 24 hours, a conversation crossed my mind. It was a story my mom shared with me years ago when I was a little girl. She was talking to me about the day I was born. My family was living in Cape Canaveral, FL at the time. On the afternoon she went into labor, as she and my dad prepared for the journey to the hospital, she noticed something.

Dirty feet.

My mom told my dad they couldn’t leave the house until her feet were clean. She didn’t want the doctor viewing (for what might be hours) her grimy, flip-flop wearing summer feet. She insisted that her feet be washed. So, in 1972, sometime mid afternoon in early September, my dad agreed to wash his wife’s feet.

This tells me something about my dad. The man is no dummy. You don’t say no to a barefoot and pregnant woman who is about to give birth to your third child, especially a barefoot and pregnant woman who has endured living in sticky and humid summertime Florida during her last trimester.

Growing up, my father never struck me as a feet washing kind of man. In fact, I didn’t personally catch this caretaker side of my dad until after my mom died. I was in college and came down with a severe case of strep throat. I wrote about it HERE. I had to come home for a week and was completely dependent on my dad to nurse me back to health. It was only then that I could envision him kneeling down with a wet wash cloth and cleaning filth off my mom’s feet.

Yesterday, I didn’t particularly like seeing my dirty feet, but I did like the memory it prompted. I liked the reminder of the crazy things we do for the people we love and cherish. And it made me smile because, once again, I am reminded at how God can take anything…even just an old memory of dirty feet…and make something beautiful out of it.

14 thoughts on “Dirty Feet

  1. Joy Lenton

    A lovely reflection, Eileen, prompted by a precious memory. I had to chuckle as you described the necessity of taking seriously a woman in labour. So true! Your father’s deed must have made a deep impression on your mother as she looked back on it and has obviously affected you. I am blessed to have a husband who models the servant heart of Jesus to me every day in the way he willingly takes care of me and the home. I know he would wash feet, hair or whatever was necessary to make me comfortable, and I feel honoured to have his practical help and loving care. Though each of us gives to others in ways in which we are gifted and enabled. That’s what the body of Christ represents – sacrifical love, help and willing service to support, strengthen and encourage each other.

    1. Eileen Post author

      Joy, so glad you have this support in your life too. I too feel blessed to have my husband as my partner.

    1. Eileen Post author

      Thanks, Bill. I know he loved her and cared deeply for her…it just normally didn’t come out in this way…I guess that’s why the story stuck with me.


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