The year my husband and I started dating, we spent Easter at his parents’ home. After church, we joined extended family for lunch.
When we returned to Eric’s parents’ home, he initiated a powerful moment. He carried a basin of warm water to a quiet corner and washed my feet, gently and carefully.
Then he opened a bottle of new lotion — a special Crabtree and Evelyn scent that still evokes the memory of that evening — and applied the lotion to my feet.
We said few words during these symbolic moments but the act of service he initiated spoke love to me, without words.When we love others, we serve them. Seldom is our service noble, or in grand gestures; instead, service is humble, quiet, and unseen. Hidden even.
Love is every day, one choice at a time. Again and again, love chooses to consider others more important through concrete action.
Fast forward twenty plus years: we recently celebrated our 22nd anniversary. Twenty-two years of marriage, three beautiful daughters, several homes, ups, downs, joys, disappointments, mistakes, wins, a thousand moments and memories, choices, and acts of service.
Remembering that long-ago Easter, I realized we are still living out this ritual in our home.
I’m not sure how it started but whenever we have house guests, our youngest daughter offers a foot massage. She carefully gathers a tub of warm water, typically with help from mom or dad, and invites our guests to soak their feet. Then she applies lotion, without self-consciousness, offering a selection of fragrances.
I don’t know that the Biblical story of Jesus washing the disciples feet is one that has shown up in our family devotions. It’s likely that she observed my parents, who massage each others’ feet nightly, in this comforting ritual and decided to recreate it.
Whatever the impetus, Maggie shows me what love looks like with her humble head bowed, putting others first without hesitation.
She takes up the towel, regularly, her selfless service reminding and prodding me to live a life of service and love.