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Servant Washing

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you should also wash one another’s feet.  John 13:14 NIV

Riding the train to a destination always makes me feel a sense of community.

Although we may be strangers, the passengers all share the same journey and the same resources–especially the same air.

On my last cross-country trip, I had a little sleeper room to myself. Near the end of my trip, a tired-looking young girl and her two young children entered the room across from mine. They looked–and smelled–as if they had not washed in a week. The protests and sound effects from other passengers sounded loudly throughout our car as we all breathed in the foul body odor.

I wasn’t sure if the porter was too busy or just avoiding the odor. I said a little prayer, held my breath, knocked on the young girl’s door, and introduced myself. After all the social pleasantries, I said, “I’m not sure if the porter told you, but there’s a shower room downstairs. I’d be happy to watch your kids if you’d like to freshen up.”

She declined. I couldn’t believe it. Did she not know how badly she needed that shower? I tried again. “I’m just right across the way. I’m a mom too. I would take care of your kids like my own,” I said.

The girl still said no. I stared at her a moment, trying to read her. I thought maybe she would explain. But no. I looked at her energetic children. “I’ve been where you are,” I said. “Would you please let me help you?”

She told me all about her trip and about how none of her traveling companions would help her with her kids because she’d had them out of wedlock. I motioned to her diaper bag as she poured out her problems.

I thought about Jesus washing His disciples’ feet and how He commanded us to do the same for each other. The Lord served as an example of how He wants us to honor others. I remembered that I must thank the Lord even during trials, and I thanked Him for blessing me with the opportunity to help a struggling family that day.

How can you do a little servant washing?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Gina Napoli

Gina Napoli lives in Harrisburg, PA, and is author of Clunk on the Head: How the Holy Spirit Got Our Attention. She has also been published in Highlights for Children, Pockets, Guardian Angel Kids, Hopscotch, and Humpty Dumpty. She publishes articles regularly in two regional publications: The Burg and Business Woman. She also publishes in the state-wide online magazine, Keystone Edge. Her writing is featured in two book anthologies: A Community of Writers and Bitter Sweet. Two hundred of her pieces appear in almost sixty different print and electronic media venues.