When you are young, a pedicure is a luxury, one most young mothers can’t afford. Things like beautiful feet take a budget backseat to groceries, diapers, dentist co-pays, and an occasional night out with the one you love, to remind each other why you got married in the first place.
But after 50, pedicures move into the absolutely-worth-it category, and after 65 they join the list of necessities to be scheduled. For me, years of standing in 3-inch heels for 4-hour concerts plus a couple hours of meet-and-greet opportunities have taken their toll on my feet. By this age I have become acquainted with words like corns, callouses, bunions, ingrown toenails, and hammertoes. And pain.
I remember the day I went through my closet and ripped out 40 pairs of great shoes--cute high-heels, sandals, and gorgeous boots—I had accumulated to accommodate the several lives I juggle: professional, educational, community, and, of course, stage formal. It broke my heart to give away all this classy footwear, but I determined that day to never wear anything higher than 2-inch heels and nothing that hurt!
By then, my feet gave witness to the years of abuse I had given them trying to be stylish and, well, beautiful.
Enter Karen. This angel from heaven now periodically soaks, pumices, massages, and polishes my feet. She smears some “elixir of the gods” on my aching feet and wraps them in steaming towels so that the fragrant oils penetrate deep into the tissue. She brings me a cup of herbal tea with honey and plays music that calms my weary mind.
And Karen is a metaphor, too. She represents to me the amazing truth from Isaiah 52:7:
How beautiful on the mountain are the feet of those who bring good news,
Who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who
Say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
It was Paul the apostle who quoted Isaiah’s musical statement to the Romans, who, by the way, walked that hot and dusty city of Rome in ill-fitting sandals. But both Isaiah and Paul were talking about a lot more than calloused and bunioned feet. They were talking about what Karen’s sweet spirit is to me when I climb, exhausted in mind and body, into her pedicure chair.
And it’s not just Karen. I have often been healed at some deep place by the ministry of feet:
--the miracle of the tiny feet of my babies who have survived the valley of the shadow of death to explode squealing into the world, covered with the velvet of natal powder, perfect and whole,
--the willing feet of my precious 5-year-old who would run back and forth across the room to fetch the diapers, the powder, the towel…when I was caring for two babies just 13 months apart
--the stomping feet of teen-agers, keeping time to the music of their garage rock band practicing in the playroom above my kitchen,
--the aching feet of Teri or Patty or Angela or Sharon who work in the office or the house, or the garden to make our crazy multifaceted life work.
--the beautiful feet of our expanded family, running down the hillside with kettles of sweet corn, pots of green beans, trays of hot dogs and buns so that we can laugh and sing our way through one more cook-out at the creek.
Oh, yes! Beautiful are the feet that minister to feet! Beautiful are the feet that dance, run, tap to music, serve and are the transforming glory of the very spirit of God!