I remember a day at church camp when I was in about the fourth grade and I dropped a can of Faygo on my right foot. The edge of the can smashed into my pinky toe and squished it into the cement. It burst a blood vessel and hurt like crazy.
I remember having warts removed from my feet multiple times as a child.
Then there was the instance last summer when I hurt my toe getting into a boat. It turned nice shades of blue and purple, and I was in pain for more than six months.
We put our feet through a lot, but we really have no idea the things that some people go through, simply because they don’t have access to clean water, and they don’t have shoes.
Yesterday I went with about a dozen of my co-workers to help at a jigger clinic near a village outside of Kampala. I saw feet like I’ve never seen before. My silly injuries and even warts don’t compare to the infections and jiggers I saw yesterday. (For more information on jiggers, go here.)
Some of my brave co-workers actually removed the jiggers using safety pins and razor blades. I would be worthless in that position, considering I would probably pass out at the first sign of bodily fluids and jigger egg sacks. So I served yesterday by washing feet.
It was our job to wash the feet of the people who came to the jigger clinic, check them for jiggers, dry their feet and give them a pair of shoes. Those who had jiggers (which ended up being most of the people we checked), were sent inside the clinic to be treated. Jiggers cause great infection, and if left untreated, can kill.
I wasn’t disgusted by anything. Although toes were covered in fungus, bottoms of feet filled with jiggers, and dead toe nails so black they literally fell off, I wasn’t disgusted. I was heartbroken.
At the time I didn’t think too much about it. We were so busy scrubbing and washing, looking for jiggers, finding the right size shoes and getting people into the clinic that I had little time to really think about the situation. But I did pray. I prayed for the feet of the toddlers, the teenagers, and the adults whose feet I washed, and I prayed that I won’t see them with the same issues when we go back at the end of the month.
The Bible talks a lot about our feet and the paths we go on. Whether our feet are perfectly pedicured or filled with jiggers, how are our lives end up are all dependent on where we allow our feet to take us.
“My steps have held fast to Your paths. My feet have not slipped.”
“I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word.”
“Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established.
Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil.”
In order for the beautiful African people in the village to stay healthy, they must take proper care of their feet by washing them and wearing shoes. Their feet simply can’t be ignored. And you know what? We need to do the same thing for our lives when it comes to where we allow our feet to take us.
We all have a choice. We can allow our feet to stay dirty and become infected, or we can take care of our feet and wash them clean. We can allow our feet to lead us to evil, or we can allow our feet to lead us to Christ.
You might not have jiggers or fungus all over your feet. You might even have the most beautiful feet on the planet. But if your feet aren’t leading you on a path towards serving Christ, none of that even matters.
“Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established.”