Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.

Reform a Weary Soul

Hello Friends, 

Contrary to the cultural shunning put on this footwear, my son and I really like a good pair of Crocs.  Each of us has a pair by the door for quick trips to the garbage or to check the mail.  And Sunday, on our way to a family gathering, I didn’t think twice about saying yes to my son’s request to wear his.  I should have.  

Immediately when we arrived at my in-laws’ house he and his cousin (both five years old) made a b-line for the side yard to play basketball.  They had been cooped up because of the morning’s rain and needed to run off their seemingly limitless energy.  

When dinner was ready I called them in only to discover each of them covered in mud from the wet concrete, missed catches of the ball, and a complete lack of discretion for the appropriate amount of dirtiness you should get at another person’s house.  

Before he could step foot in the house I redirected him to our car – to sit in the open trunk while I scrubbed his face, arms, and feet with the always-on-hand wet wipes in the glove box.  You don’t get to be disgusted at feet when you’re a dad of a five-year-old boy.  You just take a deep breath and scrub for what seemed like a half-hour (probably 2 minutes).  

Feet are gross.  But feet often carry with them the evidence of a day’s journey.  We feel it when we put them up after a long day’s work.  Or when we peel off our socks off after working in the yard or go for a run.  

Before Jesus was taken away to the cross He sat with his disciples for one last meal.  He would soon talk with them again about how He would be gone soon, but that He was leaving with them Holy Spirit to take care of them.  But before that hard conversation, He knelt down and washed each of their feet.  

Uncomfortable with the situation, Peter tried to dismiss Jesus’ actions; to which Jesus replies “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean.  You are clean…” (John 13:10)

To the disciples, it was common sense, at least in the natural.  Because they traveled everywhere barefoot or, if they had some money, in sandals, their feet carried the evidence of their day’s journey – dirt, mud, clay, and whatever else they stepped in along the way.  Their bodies may have been clean, but before they entered the house they needed their feet to be washed. 

But Jesus wasn’t just discussing their feet – He was alluding to their souls, and ours as well.  When we begin to follow Christ, our spirit is renewed and our souls begin a journey of reformation.  In other words, our spirit took a bath yet our souls still carry the evidence of our life’s journey – the joys and trauma, good and bad habits, perspectives on ourselves, our culture, God, and others that still need to be tended to by Jesus as we sit with him.  

We do not just sit with Jesus to express our needs and wants.  We sit with Him because, whether we know it or not, we have a lot in common with my five-year-old – we are unaware of the condition of our soul or the path it leaves as we walk through life.  But we serve a God who does and who is willing to serve us as we sit with Him.   He cleanses us in ways we didn’t know we needed it.  He sees what we need before we do.  He leaves us better than when we came to Him.  And all we have to do is surrender ourselves to be still in His presence and let His Word wash over us as we meditate on it, respond to it with genuine repentance, and faithfully live it out. 

This weekend, take time to let Jesus tend to your soul.  We’ve had a long journey this past 15 months and we may not know all the effects it has left on us yet – but He does.  And He will begin to do what we cannot in ourselves – reform a weary soul.  

-Pastor Cris Buck