We always start from the ground up. In fact, every member of this body has reached greater heights than us. The mouth speaks, the ears hear, the hands create, and the heart beats. All of them get rewarded for their excellence. We often go unseen, but that’s ok, because we know that we hold it all in the balance. In fact, no other part of our body could reach the heights it does without us. We are comfortable in our shoes… at least, we used to be.
At the end of a long day, the hands take our protective coverings off of us and allow us to feel the cool breeze refresh us from our claustrophobic state. After a few moments of this fresh air intake, the brain lets us know that the ears are picking up a negative report about us. They are telling us that the nose can’t stand our presence. What? Why after a long day of supporting the nose is he suddenly frustrated with us? We haven’t even come near him all day! Pfffh, pfffh, pfffh, as we are whisked away to the bedroom for either a quick water boarding experience with some of that white suds or a cover-up from those soft white tubes.
Pfffh, pfffh, pffh. As we re-enter the room, the ears hear the mouth stating that the nose can have the fingers removed from around it. “Ahhhh, relief,” the mouth says. Once again, we are covered up and forced to remain in hiding. We feel like we play a very important role in this body, but yet we are always being covered up, compared to the arm pits, or finding ourselves in nearly as much trouble as the tongue. We must have greater purpose!
For years these problems persisted. We were told our arches were too high and that the back was suffering because of us. Sometimes when we were finally uncovered, we would get sharp objects stuck in us because we were not tough enough to keep them out. The whole body would hurt as a result. We helped win a race once, but again, the glory went elsewhere. Finally, when we felt we couldn’t get any lower or mean anything less to the body, we began picking up interesting signals from the ears.
The brain had told us all to be quiet because we were in some kind of gathering of other bodies and we all had to listen to what some body behind a wooden stand was saying (only the ears paid attention). Suddenly, we felt electricity rush from the head all the way down the torso and legs and into us! We were told that the whole body had its attention focused on us. The ears relayed the signals.
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
What?! Is someone actually telling us that we are beautiful? Not only that, but they are saying that we are beautiful on the mountains. Haven’t they seen mountains? Don’t they know that mountains far surpass anything around them in beauty? Why would anyone even see us if we were positioned on mountains? Also, why are we called beautiful when it is the mouth that shares the good news and proclaims the peace?
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
Now we are hearing that the purpose of our entire body is to go into the whole world and preach the gospel of Jesus. The man who is talking says that the only way we can make it is if we take the body there! He is saying that we were created to go and not to stay put.
But so many times we have tried to take the body places and the end result is always the same story. The rest of the body is offended by what the nose feels about us.
After that, he (Jesus) poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Whoa! We never heard that before. You mean to tell us that Jesus, who is God, at one point washed all of us who were carrying the disciples? The man went onto say that he only needed to wash us because the rest of the body was clean. However, he said the reason we are so dirty and need to be washed is because we are the ones who are taking the gospel to the world. He said that we go through the dirt and the grime, the thorns and thistles, the mud and rocks for the sake of the message being spread. He said that we inevitably get dirty if we fulfill our purpose – to make Jesus known to the world!
We sat there… stunned. Energy still pulsed through us. It was the beautiful anticipation of hope. We turned to one another and, with a discreet look that only we would understand, acknowledged that Jesus had finally given us purpose!
Right then, the hands leaned over to us and whispered quietly so the man talking couldn’t hear, “I never realized what incredible purpose you have. We could never do what we were meant for without you.” The nose still cringed a little as the hands spoke, but we didn’t care. “In fact,” the hands continued, “we were meant to work together hand in foot. We just want you to know that we now realize that you were meant to get dirty because you were meant to go. Any time you need us, give us a shout and we will make sure that you get washed so that you receive the honor you are due. Together, we are the hands and feet of Jesus!”