Notes from Jan


April 14, 2017

After removing socks and shoes, I settled into the chair for a pedicure.

Humbling to let others tend my feet.

While feet soaked in warm water, I reflected on the strangeness of this luxury on Maundy Thursday.

What was I doing?

While Alexi trimmed nails and massaged aching feet, she asked, “Doing anything special?”

She knows “no nail polish” for me during long winters made for heavy socks and boots.   Today I’d picked a color.

In response, I blurted out,”I’m doing this for Maundy Thursday service tonight since Father Patrick asked if I’d represent one of the twelve disciples and offer a foot for washing.”

Alexi laughed.

Me, too.


Ironic to worry about the appearance of my feet for a service that’s so not about me.

Which led me to add,”You know, Alexi, who am I trying to fool? God invites us to come just as we are.  No need to pretty up.   God knows us.” 

Neither of us laughed.

Last night, when Mother Susan knelt before me, washing, toweling dry my foot with freshly painted nails, I sensed the humility of Jesus in her and the hubris in me.

Once home, I reread the following from Frederick Buechner’s  April 1st entry in Listening to Your Life: 

“I say that feet are very religious too.  She says that’s what you think.  I say that if you want to know who are you, if you are more than academically interested in that particular mystery, you could do a lot worse that look to your feet for an answer…Thus, when you wake up in the morning called by God to be a self again, if you want to know who you are, watch your feet.  Because where your feet take you, that is who you are.”


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  • Reply Dale Lefever April 14, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Dear Jan,

    You allowed Mother Susan to serve you. Sometimes, it is easier to give than it is to receive – that is real hubris. You simply made it easier for her to express her servant’s heart to you. He is risen!

    Love, Dale

  • Reply valerie mccoy April 14, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    Oh how I love the passage in Joshua, “everywhere the soles of your feet tread, I am with you, just as I promised Moses.”
    So whenever my neuropathic pain attempts to debilitate my foot journey, I call to mind Moses and Joshua and all the beautiful saints whose weary, dusty feet were annointed by the God who promised that every step by the soles of our feet….he would be there. And if He’s there, then the soles of my feet better stay on the straight and narrow.
    I love you, Jan….polished toes or not.

  • Reply Radina Welton April 14, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Read this morning in a meditation that the cross is the place where our sin intersects with the holy. It occurred to me when I read these thoughts of yours that holy hands touching dirty feet to cleanse them is a tactile symbol of the same. May you be blessed this Good Friday, then move toward a very happy Easter, Jan.

  • Reply Russ Bishop April 14, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Pedicures in heaven? We can only guess. I’m hoping for a massage at Mary Magdalene’s Full Body Salon…

  • Reply Dan Russ April 15, 2017 at 12:17 am

    How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

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