We went camping last weekend, and as anyone who's camped with kids knows...camping is a dirty job. Each night before bed, we'd line the kids up and arm ourselves with a package of baby wipes. Baby wipes are hardly effective on the dirt way in the ears or on the scalp, but we did our best.
If we become regular campers, it might be worth it to invest in a little portable shower like the one our friends were kind enough to let us borrow (think small privacy tent with a bag of heated water hanging from the top - amazing how extravagant such simplicity seems when you've been camping for a couple of days!). Digressing here...
So we were giving the kiddos their pre-bed spit bath, combing hair, and snuggling them up into jammies before tucking them into their sleeping bags under the stars.
I had Clara sitting on the edge of the picnic table, while Ben and Sammy watched and waited patiently for their turn. I was scrubbing her black feet clean with those silly wipes, when I suddenly had an image flood my brain.
"Do you know what this reminds me of?" I asked them.
"What?", in unison.
"It reminds me of the time that Jesus washed his disciples' feet. Do you remember that story?"
"Yeah, I think so."
"Why do you think Jesus washed their feet? Imagine that, the King of Kings getting down on his hands and knees to wash a bunch of smelly feet! Why would he do such a thing?"
Thoughtful looks all around, but no response.
"He washed their feet to show them that he'd do anything for them because he loved them THAT much. He loves YOU that much. Isn't that amazing? He also did it to remind us to care for each other and to love each other like he loves us."
...a delighted "Oh!" and smiles from my sweet babies.
"Why do you think I'm washing your feet?"
"Because you don't want us to go to bed all dirty and yucky?"
"Yes, and why?"
...more thoughtful silence.
"Because I care about you. I love you. Part of the way I show you how much I love you is by taking good care of you. I love you more than anything in the whole world. And you know what? So does Jesus!"
A shiver ran up my spine and tears welled in my eyes - the tell-tale sign that I was living in a moment set aside by God. Whether that moment was for their benefit or just for me, I'm thankful for it. I gathered my composure and sent up a prayer, Please Lord, save these children. Help them to know you and your love. Watch over them and give them your peace and joy.
Isn't it incredible that such simple moments...such simple activities...can point the way toward our incredible Almighty God?