I haven’t always understood the early apostles’ response to the Savior’s death and resurrection.
Jesus warned them.
He taught them.
He told them He would die.
And He assured them that He would rise again.
Every miracle pointed to the infinite nature of His ministry and atonement.
Yet, the apostles seemed surprised at His death and even astonished at His resurrection.
I didn’t understand.
How did they miss it? Miss Him?
Didn’t they know Him?
Walk with Him?
Heal with Him?
But death is hard.
And resurrection had never been done before.
I think the Savior knew they would not understand.
Not at first.
He faced that a lot in His mortal life.
So what could He do?
How could He help?
When words failed and promises were forgotten, the Savior washed feet.
When Jake was in the middle of treatment he couldn’t shower alone. I sat on the edge of the bed listening and talking to make sure he didn’t get light headed or fall on the slippery tile.
At the beginning I had to help.
Some of the most sacred experiences of my life were washing Jake’s feet as he stood in the shower.
He couldn’t reach them.
Cancer made even the mundane painful.
And in the midst of our difficulty, I didn’t know what else I could do.
I didn’t always understand.
So I washed his feet.
With His final mortal day before Birthright responsibility and the Will of the Father pushed Jesus to the edges of Eternity, Jesus gathered His apostles together,
washed their feet.
Some disagreed, feeling that they should be washing the feet of the Master.
But He insisted.
Something about washing their feet made Him part of them.
Even after He died.
And while they waited for His resurrection.
So what do you do when they do not understand?
When words fail and promises are forgotten.
How could you help?
You wash feet.
Every evening a little one and a half year old that looks like me with all of Jake’s colors insists on “bath time”.
He lets me wash off the remnants of the day,
dirt, bubble soap, dinner, and more.
And then he lets me wash his feet.
I do not always understand.
Sometimes, despite the promises and the warnings and the words, I still miss things as Jesus works in my life and in the world.
But I find when I am washing feet, He is part of me.
And I start to understand.
And I feel understood.
And I am happy.
Do you remember the presidential fitness test?
Elementary kids across the country tried their hand at five fitness categories to earn a certificate signed by the President of the United States.
The run was no big deal. Sit-ups and push-ups went okay, but the v-sit and reach proved impossible for me.
Sitting on the ground with our legs apart, we leaned forward with reaching hands. A piece of tape on the floor marked the required distance, and we had to hold the position for three seconds.
I could not reach far enough.
I sat and practiced all through gym and again when I got home.
When it was time for the test, I failed.
I was several centimeters short.
And incredibly embarrassed.
The yellow tape was just too far away for my reach.
From my perspective, I was the only 5th grader in the United States of America that could not reach.
I was mortified.
But I had a great teacher.
She read the rules.
And she told me that it did not say I could not have help.
And so she grabbed a friend.
And she smiled reassuringly.
She sat my friend down in front of me, touched her feet to mine and told her to grab my hands and pull them towards the tape.
She held my fingers against the yellow tape for three seconds.
I made it.
We made it.
I reached it.
And we smiled.
Hank is growing.
He slid off my bed this morning, and his big brown eyes still peeked up at me over the covers.
When did he get so tall?
I notice his reach these days.
Often accompanied by tip-toes, he’s always reaching.
For things he loves.
Sometimes I wish I could reach further.
I try to do it alone until I fall several centimeters short.
Then I remember I’ve read the rules.
And there’s nothing that says I can’t have help.
He reaches my reaching.
The fact that an all-knowing all-powerful Being can reach and touch a situation, a life, reveals much about His character.
And we are seen.
And so I reach for Jesus.
and with Jesus.
and I find it’s enough.
That makes me happy.
My name is Maddie Townsend Topham and I am a happy wife!