Since our move to the country of South Africa almost two weeks ago, I've made many observations as people often do when placed in a new environment. We are now living in a modern city as opposed to the very rural area where we resided for three and one half years in Swaziland. We are almost startled to have so many conveniences again at the tips of our fingers.
I think what continues to capture my amazement, though, is that my feet always look clean. For over three years, my feet were always covered in the beautiful reddish brown dirt of Swaziland. Yes, I showered regularly, but the moment I stepped outside, the clay-like dirt began to cling to my feet. Here, we walk on concrete, and my feet are back to their normal flesh color. To tell you the truth, I kind of miss the dirt!
While pondering this whole feet thing (lots of time to think while unpacking and getting our very old rental house in liveable condition) I was also reminiscing about “my” beloved ladies in Swaziland. In my (granted, rather biased!) opinion, sub-Saharan African women are some of the strongest women in the world. And their feet show it! These women walk miles and miles (okay, kilometers and kilometers) daily.
One of the first things we noticed on our arrival in our new and lovely neighborhood was the dozens of housekeepers all trudging on tired feet to the bus stop after a hard day's labor. South Africa has come a long, long way in the past two decades, but racial inequality is still readily evident. These long-suffering housekeepers are all black, and all work in homes of whites. They work in clean houses because they keep them that way, and walk on concrete because they have jobs. Their feet are relatively clean compared to their rural neighbors in Swaziland, but I'm sure every bit as tired.
The Bible has many, many references to feet. Quite a few refer to the hospitable practice of helping guests to wash their tired and filthy feet. One of the most beautiful examples of humility and agape love in the whole Bible is when Jesus washes the disciples' feet.
It brings my heart joy to read the promises in the Bible about the feet of believers. It brings me joy to know that because of the price Jesus' paid (including allowing His feet to be pierced) someday all these precious women who believe on Him will have pristine clean feet! And that even now, God cares for their swollen, calloused feet.
He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. 2 Samuel 22:34 and Psalm 18:33
You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip. 2 Samuel 22:37 and Psalm 18:36
He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. Psalm 40:2