Read John 13:12-17
12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them. (NLT)
We all know that the greatest obligations we have in life are to love God and love others. Actually doing all this is another matter. We constantly have to fight against our ingrained selfish instincts and perspectives. It is no easy or simple thing to consistently love God and love others.
But we can make it harder for ourselves when we get confused about just what love involves, especially love of others. We can conceive of it as some grand and noble gesture entailing great sacrifice on our part. A heroic effort to care for a wounded person whilst ignoring our own woundedness. And that is part of the fabric of love.
Yet much love is very mundane. Much like the example of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. Very ordinary, a bit messy, not at all dramatic in its essence. Love more often than not involves little things. We may not see the small things we do for others as acts of love, but most love doesn’t hit the headlines or make a great noise. So while love is a challenge, we likely show more love than what we imagine the case to be.
Be encouraged and challenged by these words of Michael Lindvall: “The mark a man or woman makes on the world is most often a trail of faithful love, and quiet mercies, and unknown kindnesses.”