Calling all feet

waterjugI won’t forget the first time the whole churchful of us washed one another’s feet at Our Lady of Mercy Church on Holy Thursday. Some sat cemented to the pews, determined that no one have a chance to snicker at their bunions, their ugly toenails. Others took off shoes and socks and walked haltingly, bare toes on marble, up the aisles, to where someone washed their feet and they, in turn, washed the feet of the person behind them. The choir began to sing.

A white-haired man knelt and took my 7-year-old daughter’s foot in his huge hands. Singing to her all the while, he poured water over her foot and tenderly dried it. “En la arena he dejado mi barca,” he sang, looking her in the eye, smiling, “junto a Ti buscaré otro mar.” (“All I longed for, I have found by the water. At your side, I will seek other shores.”) I pondered stealing the foot towel to dry my tears. Continue reading