31 Days in which I Am Saved by Beauty – Day 24

Yesterday was an amazing day.
Startling, sometimes confusing,
interesting and humbling.
In the middle of this 31-day blogging craziness,
I put up this small post to tell you about an essay 
I wrote over at A Deeper Church.
In that brief post, I also urged you to 
read my friend Emily’s post in which 
she asked some questions about the very
topic I was speaking about right next door to her.
The comment thread, especially on her essay,
was pretty overwhelming.

But here is what I feel about it,
late this night,
after spending about 14 of the last 36 hours 
in the car, driving up and down this
magnificently beautiful state of ours:

I feel profoundly grateful.
And humble.
I would happily wash Emily’s feet,
and I believe she would do the same for me.
And that? THAT is a beautiful thing.

I slept last night in a retreat center in Burlingame, CA,
run by the Sisters of Mercy.
Our meeting room there contained about a dozen
magnificent prints by a Japanese artist from the 20th century
named Sadao Watanabe.
I tried to take photos of them all,
but a few of them showed too much reflection from
the hideous (why oh why??) florescent lighting.
These two, however, are perfect.

Two different interpretations 
of the same seminal event
in the life and ministry of our Lord, 
     our Savior, 
          our Christ.

Jesus – the Son of God,
the Creator of the universe,
the only fully Human Being who ever walked
the dusty roads of this globe –
washing the feet of his disciples.

And then telling us to do the same for one another. 

THIS is who we are, dear friends. 

We are the ones who follow Jesus.
We are the ones who share in the bread and cup.

And we are the ones who wash one another’s feet.
Whether we agree with one another on every doctrine or not.
Whether we work at home or outside the home.
Whether we homeschool our kids or send them to school
Whether we even like each other or not! 

We are the ones who wash each other’s feet.

And that – 
     because Jesus did it,
          because Jesus 
               continues to do it through each of us – 

that is BEAUTY. 

Humbly joining with Michelle, Jen, Jennifer, Ann, Duane, and OF COURSE, Emily:

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  1. How beautiful are the feet… and the hands and hearts…

  2. Beautiful post. Just stopping over from “Hear it on Sunday” Linkup Party from the WholeHearted Home.

  3. Amen, friend. Amen.

  4. Those paintings are beautiful, Diana. I’m so glad you’ve had this time. Times like these make the footwashing easier–even a gift and a blessing, don’t they?

  5. I wish everyone responded to conflict the way you do, Diana. And those prints are exquisite! Sometimes I think I went Catholic just to get exposed to all the great art.

  6. Actually, this time was not particularly refreshing – too much driving in too short a time frame! And the input was very mixed. Some good, some not so good. But that artwork just about made up for all that – it was wonderful.

  7. I don’t always respond well, Megan – and it’s easier to do in writing, when you take the time to measure your words…as opposed to TOO much happening on Facebook during this election build up. Sheesh. And I totally get that about the art of the church – amazing, amazing.

  8. Yes…to bend low…to see one another from our knees…again…thanks to you for how you and Emily found a place to stand together…a place called love and grace…I am learning…when we try to force God into places of agreement…I actually think we drive Him out…but Love…there He will always abide. blessings to you~

  9. Thank you, Ro – and thank you for your lovely post yesterday.

  10. Kim Sullivan says

    The love and respect you two showed one another was beautiful and again, example for me. Thank you.

  11. Thank you, Kim. If we cannot listen well to one another when we disagree, then we lose sight of the bigger goal seems to me. We can disagree and we can do it firmly, but always – always! – there needs to be mutual respect, encouragement and love. Even when we’re frustrated or tired or our buttons are pushed. This particular conversation has been helped by the fact that em and I have a 2 year history of commenting back and forth. I can see her heart and hopefully, she can see mine. So we try to listen – not just to the words, but to the subtext behind them. Sometimes I wish commenters on blogs and and facebook would just take one step back before they write. Response is always better than reaction – and if we hit the keyboard too quickly, sometimes we react in ways that are less than loving. That doesn’t mean that hard questions cannot be asked, but they can be asked in ways that are open and not closed, does that make sense?

  12. Emily Wierenga says

    oh friend. just getting to this now, but i love this. i think i’m going to paint one of these pictures you have here… dedicated to true feminism, sisters watching each others’ feet. 🙂 love you.

  13. Well that idea makes me positively weepy – and deeply grateful. I would love to see how you might interpret these ideas, this event, em. Thanks for coming by and leaving this encouragement, friend. Love you back.