Our feet are what keep us grounded and mobile. To be in the world but not of it, we still need feet to meet with it. It is a terrible disability to lose feet or legs, and renders us dependent on prostheses, crutches or wheelchairs to go about our business, though very limiting.
In Semitic cultures, feet are seen as filthy, being as they are commonly in contact with dirt. I have heard it is a terrible insult to show the soles of your feet in some countries, for instance by crossing your legs when sat down.
So why did the King of the Universe make a special point of washing His disciples’ feet? As He said Himself, it was to give them an example of how to be like Him.
Christ is unafraid to descend to the depths of our depravation, to wash our feet clean, heal them and render us mobile again, the better to serve Him and our neighbour. In all our dealings in Christ, we must so be similarly open to descending for the purposes of raising.
I feel moved to pray for chiropodists this Maundy Thursday. My brother is one, by the way. God be with them.