DO YOU SUPPOSE?
Do you suppose, that 2000 years ago, when sandaled feet, dusty and dirty with the labors and travel of the day, were bathed by family or friends, it felt any different than it does today?
Was the water less or more refreshing than we are used to?
Was the soap or oil used to help in the cleansing any less effective?
Were cuts or bruises on those feet from an unexpected encounter with thorns or rocks or sticks any less sore?
Were the cloths used to dry those tired feet less effective than what we have today?
After a long day of play or helping with daily tasks were children any less wiggly, or giggly, or whiny?
I suppose it was all very much the same then as now. We are, as they were, grateful for any small attention from those welcoming us home. Whether it is the ceremony of bringing slippers, pouring a glass of wine, rubbing the knots out of aching shoulders, we are nurtured on a deep level, as they most certainly would have been.
Maunday Thursday is a reminder that these small tasks of grace we do for others are sacred. They connect us deeply as family, as friends. And even if we find ourselves alone on this day, we can do something that reminds us we have been loved and cared for in ways we may never have noticed.
Let's be more aware in the future. Let's provide the smallest of gestures of care when we can. Let's handle each other gently, doing the same for ourselves. I suppose that, in fact, small gestures of self-care make every other act of kindness possible.