BY JULIA PETERS* [Main Story]
have always had strong opinions on foot-washing. I believe it to be an ordinance that either pertains to reconciliation with another or is a symbolic act of service. It has troubled me how the service seems trivialized when people take part with best friends, spouses, children—anyone who would prevent the least amount of discomfort. However, to be truthful, I didn’t enjoy it either!
Then several years ago, I had a “lightbulb moment.” If I really believed this, then I should be intentional about my selection of a partner for the foot-washing service. But how do I pick from so many? I know: let God do the choosing!
The week prior to the next Communion, I began praying for my partner—not knowing who that person might be. I asked God to select the one individual in the church that I could serve that week. That Sabbath I could hardly contain my excitement!
I walked to the door of the room and told the deaconess I needed a partner and then waited. Almost immediately a woman walked in, and we served each other. We shared details of our life experience; then we prayed together. Since then I have done this repeatedly, and I am increasingly blessed.
I have met women whose husbands have lost their jobs, whose children have specific challenges, those going through difficult transitions, elderly women who simply need someone to listen or to accommodate their needs. There was a time I served the same woman three Communion services in a row—almost an entire year! Sometimes I tell them of my prayer for a partner; most often I don’t. I can’t tell you how blessed I am. It has enhanced my prayer life, and has made foot-washing one of the most meaningful services in which I participate. Most important, I am partnering with God, and He makes it fun!
* Julia Peters is a pseudonym.