We took a hike today up a beautiful tree-covered trail with ferns and poison oak growing on either side. The trail was dusty and it kept you on your toes with an obstacle course of rocks and tree roots. When we got back to the car we washed our hands, but I could see dirt lines between my sandal straps. I swabbed it off when I found a rag at home, but noticed grime between my toes and an odd scent wafting up every so often. My feet stink…I’m showering tonight.
But what about all the people who walk on roads like this every day for miles? They get used to that foot smell. The disciples were shocked when Jesus did the menial task of washing their feet (John 13). He was showing them how the greatest leaders serve with humility. I’m sure Paul was used to that foot smell also, with all his travels. And what about modern missionaries? They do not get to carry around wet wipes to stay clean.
It makes me laugh a little over this verse:
“15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” (Romans 10:15).
Paul is talking about the Gospel message, and how he longed for Israel to turn back to God. Where did he get the verse? From Isaiah 52 where it speaks about the restoration of Jerusalem:
“How lovely on the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who announces peace
And brings good news of happiness,
Who announces salvation,
And says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’“
This is right before the passage of Isaiah 53 that speaks ahead about Christ’s suffering. It all ties together!
Feet. Beautiful, stinky feet that travel far to announce to peoples near and far, “God reigns!”
God, thank You for feet…especially the ones that stink from carrying around good news. Please bless those who are working for You, God. Thank You for the stinky feet, and those washing stinky feet like Jesus showed us. Please help me to humbly serve where You have me, and go where You want me. I’ll get grime between my toes and concoct a distinctive scent in my sandals, but to spread the news of restoration, of hope, happiness, and good news! Thank You for stinky feet!