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Cleaning Little Feet

If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done to you.  John 13:14 ESV

cleaning little feetMy mama's cleaning little feet reminds me to serve others.

“Linda, Wanda. Come inside, girls. Time to get cleaned up for bed,” Mama called from the porch.

“But, Mama, we already had our bath,” I whined.

“Yes, but you went back outside to play afterward. What if something happens during the night, and we must rush out of the house? I don’t want my girls running out with dirty feet. What would the neighbors think?”

The sweet, clean scent of Ivory soap takes me back to thoughts of Mama and those warm summer evenings. At ages six and four, Wanda and I seldom wore shoes. Living in the country, we loved to run with bare feet. But at bedtime, Mama insisted we have clean feet.

I stood on the commode lid in our small half bath next to our bedroom, putting one foot at a time into the warm, sudsy water Mama had prepared in the sink. I watched her hands as she gently turned the Ivory soap over in the washcloth until it had enough soap to suit her. She took each foot in her hand and washed up to my knee. Next, Mama lifted Wanda onto the commode lid and repeated the process.

By this time, our eyes were heavy. Finally, Mama helped us into our pretty pajamas and tucked us into bed with a prayer and a kiss.

My mama’s love showed a servant’s heart. I’m sure she was tired at the end of her day—and we could have gone to bed with dirty little feet—but that was not what our mama wanted for her newly adopted little girls. We were God’s gift. She treasured her time with us, even at bedtime.

We didn’t realize it then, but Mama taught us how to love God, to make prayer time an essential part of our lives, and to know we could trust God for our future. Mama’s servant heart reflected Christ and has always reminded me of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. That one simple act has moved me to love and serve others.

Having a servant’s heart means helping others in love and not expecting anything in return.

What legacy are you leaving for your children and grandchildren?  

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Linda Summerford

Linda Summerford is an alumni of Coker University in Hartsville, SC, where she majored in English. She served on a foster care review board for several years where she realized the urgent need for foster care and adoption reforms. Linda also works with her husband in the ministry of Next Generation Impact, working with churches to rebuild their congregations. Linda’s book, The Glider, is based on a true story and is currently being considered for publication by a number of Christian publishers. Linda and her husband, Richard, have two daughters and five grandchildren. They live in the mountains of western North Carolina. You can connect with Linda at www.authorlindasummerford.com.