How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news . . . Isaiah 52:7
I arrived in Belize with naked toenails. Until Lisa, a new friend, a woman I'd met only a couple of times before this trip, offered to paint them for me. On a bus with poor shocks. On a rutted dirt road.
Amidst the laughter during this crazy-bumpy pedicure, I was humbled by this person I barely knew touching my feet. Little did I know, this was just the beginning of feet-thoughts.
One night, sitting in a group of beautiful but life-worn women, I stared at the bare foot propped on a bench in front of me. I was just beginning to learn about the lives of these women who live in dirt-floored, thatched-roof homes with no doors. These mothers and grandmothers who wash clothes in the river, grind corn and kill the chickens they raise to feed their families, who bear many children, carry them on their backs as they work, who give so much--yet find little or no respect in the eyes of their men. I looked at the feet of these women and wondered what we, people of so much privilege, had to offer them. How did God want us to serve them?
We'd come to Belize to teach, to conduct a Bible conference in several villages. We'd come to bring the Good News.
Funny how God so often bypasses our scripted words.
Kelli, one of the team members, had come armed with every color of nail polish known to woman. This was Kelli's second trip and one of her intentions was to bless Miss Bridget, the woman who cooked for us at the Belize Training Center. She did. And then she and others began to bless the women and girls who came to the Center to sell their crafts.
I watched Kelli, Lisa, and Erica as they held feet that walked dirt roads. The parallel to Jesus washing his disciples' feet, was inescapable. I watched as they ministered with paint-on color, coaxing shy smiles with a touch of love. A gift of beauty.
As the week went on, we had the joy of meeting several Belizean women with hearts surrendered to Christ. Mothers who, like me, lie awake praying for their children. So many of them come to church alone because their husbands want nothing to do with God. But they pray for their men, they do what they can to share their faith and show Jesus-love in their homes.
As I listened to their stories, I glanced down. As our team met for prayer and planning, I looked down. At the dirt-dusted sandals in our circle of twelve. Lord, how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.
I'm grateful for these pictures that won't let me forget, that remind and challenge me to serve in unexpected ways that bring a touch of joy in otherwise difficult lives. I'm grateful for the examples, in my sisters here, and those 3,000 miles away, of Jesus-love. And beautiful feet.