Until Sunday, I’d never been part of a foot washing ceremony. In the churches I’ve been a part of, well, we just didn’t do that kind of thing. But I have always loved the stories.

I love the story of the woman who washed his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. The intimacy, the vulnerability. The imagining of it sends a shiver through my heart.

I see them all, he and his friends, gathered in that upper room. The feast, the knowing it was the end, the sadness over the pending betrayal, the bittersweet sharing of this last supper. I see him pour and kneel and touch and wash. I see tenderness, a lingering, as he bends over each foot. Knowing where each has been and where each must go. An anointing, in a sense.

On Sunday, my mother and my sisters and I gathered at my mom’s home to celebrate with her these past seventy years. Years of growing and living and marriage and children and grandchildren. Years of much love and many sadnesses. Of hello hugs and farewell tears.

So we gathered, mother and sisters and one granddaughter, and we spent Sunday morning together. And as a woman named Lisa bent over my feet, washing and rubbing and oiling and painting, I thought of him and of his friends. Of how good it felt and how sweet it was, to be together in that room, five women of common blood, sharing that moment.

Life can be so sweet, and my toes are pretty.

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