,,,washing the feet of the saints...I Timothy 5:10
From the time our children were infants, they were taken to foot washing services. They came to realize the importance of this act of humility which was ordained by Jesus Himself in much the same way that He ordained baptism and communion. Our son Rick was ten years old when he played on the A's, a Little League baseball team. And he was good! His absence would be noticed! So, when the church announced the annual Foot Washing and Communion service and the Little League announced a game on the same night at the same time, Rick had to make a choice. He had always loved the closeness he felt at the special Maundy Thursday services, and he didn't want to miss that. He asked the coach if he could still play if he came after the service. "The rules say that, if you get here by the third inning, you can still play," he said. "We will have the team vote to see if it's OK with them for you to come late and still play." The vote was taken, and it was unanimous to allow Rick to play.
We arrived at the church with Rick dressed in his green and gold A's uniform, ready to make a run for the Little League park after the service. Rick went with his dad to the men's area. On this night an elderly man we all called "Brother Burns" took the small pan and a towel and walked toward Rick. Kneeling with great difficulty because of advanced arthritis, he began to wash Rick's feet. After drying Rick's feet, he had to be helped up to give Rick a hug--a blessing, if you will. Sensing the humility of this saint of God to wash the feet of the Little Leaguer, Rick was deeply touched.
The service went longer than we had anticipated. We arrived at the ball park long after the third inning. Rick did not get to play. In the car his dad said, "Son, I hope you know that this was a very special time for you tonight."
"I do, Dad," he replied.
We don't remember if the A's won or not, but Rick will remember the night his feet were washed by this beloved saint of God.