Thursday, June 18, 2009

on foot-washing

The Bible makes a big deal about washing feet. While I'm creeped out by the notion of strangers washing each other's feet in a ritual context at church, I can now see why so much might be made of such a gesture. It's not merely the idea that the washer humbles him- or herself before the washee, but that an interesting sort of bond is established between the caregiver and the receiver of care. Feet are sensitive, and ministering to them requires loving attention. As I discovered this afternoon, the feeling of performing this humble little service is indescribable.

Mom's feet have been a bit puffy for a while, according to Sean, who came by today and stayed from about 1:30PM to a little after 3. I also noticed how dry the skin of her feet was, so I took it upon myself to play the pedicurist and perform a bit of exfoliation. I massaged Mom's feet first, just to keep circulation going, and when Mom drifted off into afternoon slumber (she's still napping as I write this), I got out some napkins and began to rub the skin of her feet gently, allowing the dead matter to drift to the floor, then cleaning it all up. I took Mom's mug of ice water, lightly wet another napkin, and went at her feet again, this time trying a bit harder to rub off the dead skin. The moisture worked wonders, allowing me to rub off even more skin, and although Mom's feet aren't perfectly exfoliated, they look a lot better now. Strangely enough, I feel better now.


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