Washing My Mother's Feet

Serving others is Jesus in action. How to teach your teen daughter to be just that.

Posted in , Mar 30, 2015

A woman's foot being washed. Photo from 123RF(r).

It was two days before my mother died. My older sister and I were sitting with her in the hospital room. The doctors had told us she could go home the next day. Mom was walking and moving around a little bit. At one point, though, she needed to rest and sat down in the chair near the window of the hospital room.

“I feel useless,” my sister said.

She wasn’t a nurse like me. She felt that she had nothing to offer in terms of medical care to our mother. But then, Mom said that her feet hurt. The next thing I knew, my sister was going to work.

She took a pink plastic hospital basin, filled it with water, and got down on the floor. She washed and massaged my mom’s feet with lotion. I almost started crying. My sister’s feelings of inability to help were so far from the truth. In her actions, I saw Jesus.

During the Passover supper, Jesus poured water in a basin, grabbed a towel and washed the feet of His disciples. At first, one disciple refused to have Jesus wash his feet, for he didn't think this action was worthy of the Son of God. What was Jesus doing?

Jesus was setting an example for their future. He wouldn’t be with them, physically, forever, and He wanted them to remember that He served willingly and washed the feet of His friends because He loved them. He wanted them to know that in order to serve Him, they had to serve each other, their friends, neighbors and fellow humans.

Does your teen daughter reach out and serve others? If not, here are a few suggestions.

1)  Be your daughter’s role model. Show her how to serve others by your own actions. When she sees you caring for others, she will follow and learn what it means to be compassionate.

2)  Encourage your teen daughter to help others in your neighborhood. Offering to mow a yard, shovel a snow-covered driveway or share a meal with someone will teach her about the needs of other people.

3)  Introduce creative ideas to her. Writing encouraging notes, creating goodie baskets or sharing her talents will show her that there are many ways to serve others.

There will be times when we feel like we can’t do much, for ourselves or for others. Let us be reminded of the One who cleanses us and washes our feet. Let us learn from Jesus how to serve and love others. 

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