At the feet of Jesus…. or the Lincoln Memorial…

It was one of those Sunday mornings where I really didn’t want to go to church. It was a last minute decision to haul myself out of bed, throw something on, and go.

We sang some songs, listened to announcements and then sang another song. And then, before the sermon, we prayed. The worship leader said he wanted us to take everything to Jesus. Whether it was problems at home, at work, with friends, with family… whatever it was, take it and put it at the feet of Jesus. He’ll take care of it.

Having the wild imagination I was blessed with, an image quickly popped into my head. There everyone was with the things they were bringing to Jesus. I, for some odd reason, imagined Jesus kind of like the Lincoln Memorial. He was big, stoic, and unreachable other than His feet where everyone was putting down their worries and troubles. They quietly placed them at the feet of Jesus and turned and walked away.9997Abraham_Lincoln_memorial

But I was different.

In my mind I saw myself with good intentions of simply putting down my cares at His feet, but instead I saw myself putting them down and then pausing. I looked up at President Linco…. Er…. Jesus, and I tapped His foot.

“Don’t miss this one!” I yelled.

He didn’t respond.

“Hey!” I yelled louder, as everyone else continued to quietly give Jesus their struggles. “Hey Jesus! Don’t forget mine!”

It’s probably not very appropriate to yell at Jesus, but in my imagination, I really wanted to be heard. And to be honest, right now, in reality, I’m not feeling heard.

I took a leap of faith when I moved to Uganda a year ago. I took an even larger leap of faith when I moved home a month ago. I have a great education, excellent experience, wonderful references, and yet each and every job I apply for is turning out to be a dead end.

At first I was OK with that. Even after I discovered my dream job did, in fact, exist, and I was definitely qualified for it, spent four hours filling out the application one Sunday, and was told two days later that the position had been filled, I still was encouraged. I believed that God must have something better for me.

I took it to the feet of Jesus and let it go.

But then I interviewed for another job I really wanted, and I haven’t heard anything. I was still hopeful about another job here in Fort Wayne in which I had the perfect background for in journalism and education. I got a letter a few days ago saying other applicants were better qualified. They do not want to interview me at this time.

I am feeling defeated. Useless. Unwanted. Like my education and experience have all been a waste.

And on Sunday morning I took it to the feet of Jesus, or the Lincoln Memorial, and I kept hitting His foot to make sure He was hearing my request, that He was taking my worries for me. The giant stone monument offered no comfort.

After the sermon we sang “I Will Not Be Shaken.” I love God’s sense of humor. The chorus of Tommy Walker’s praise and worship song says this:

So I’ll stand in trust.
I’ll stand in faith.
I will not be shaken.

All of a sudden the picture I had created in my mind became so wrong for so many reasons.

For one, when we take things to the feet of Jesus, He isn’t a giant monument. He literally walked the earth as a human. When we put things at Jesus’ feet, we kneel down before someone our size. We give Him our worries, and then He gives us a warm hug.

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Jesus is not unreachable. He is our friend, and He cares about us.

Secondly, I do not need to yell at God to remind Him of my situation. He knows the struggles I’m facing in finding a job, and He’s got it covered. He is always listening.

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13

Am I frustrated? Absolutely. I feel I have a lot to offer an employer, and I’m getting nowhere. For some reason, God hasn’t placed me in any of the jobs I’ve applied for. Although it’s difficult, I will stand in trust. I’ll stand in faith. I will not be shaken. I’m taking it to the feet of Jesus and putting it before Him.

And He’s not a giant stone monument. He’s holding me tight as I wait for what He’s going to do next in my life.

Beautiful feet… where will you go?

My darling feet have been through a lot. Despite their polished toenails and trendy toe ring, they have seen some IMG_20131223_153745bad days.

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.)

IMG_5435Some 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.IMG_5427a

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.”
Psalms 17:5

“I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word.”
Psalms 119:101

“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.”

Proverbs 4:26-27

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.

IMG_5458We 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.”
Proverbs 4:26