I want to dine with the Lord, at His table; and I'd like the kind of after dinner clean-up that He offers. The kind that doesn't involve a sink full of soaking plates and a drain that slurps, but does involve a basin to soak my feet in, an apron, and a towel.
I loaded the dishwasher last night, finished scrubbing the stainless steel sink, rinsed the dirty with the clean down the drain, flipped the garbage disposal on and off, pulled my dish gloves off one rubber finger at a time, and removed my apron.
Finished, I went to bed satisfied because sometimes in this imperfect world it just doesn't matter that it's imperfect. What matters is that Jesus is in my kitchen, at my sink where green rubber gloves and hand knit dish clothes are; and where sparkling suds turn the color of whatever is soaking in them till they dissolve too heavy with soil to stay afloat.
What matters is that Jesus is the perfecter of all things imperfect.
What matters is that He doesn't just dispose the garbage, but cleans the disposal, too.
It matters that He doesn't just rinse the dirty down the drain, but cleans the pipes to the elbow where things lodge till the sink is clogged and the drain can't swallow.
What really matters is that He does this in whoever opens the door to let Him in.
It really matters that He does this before He sets table.
It really matters to me that when I heard His voice at the door, and opened the door to let Him in, He made sure my soul could taste the goodness of the bread He would offer, and could swallow the wine He would pour, before we began dining together.
This morning my kitchen is as clean as I left it last night and that's satisfying to the likes of me. I switch the red coffee maker to "on," the dishwasher to "on," let yellow dog out, and fetch my Bible while the coffee brews.
I went to bed last night in anticipation of my morning routine with my Lord. I pour coffee and call out to yellow dog, "Let's go pray!" She fetches her stuffed bunny, grins around it, and leads the way to the back room.
I pray for loved ones who can't hear His voice at the door because their souls are backed up and burping too loudly.
I pray for those whose lives are too full of treasure that's getting as soggy in their souls as last night's dinner scraps in the sink.
And I pray for those who either can't find the door knob; or can, but can't turn it because soggy is slippery.
"Remember that time when You dined with Your disciples and You tied a towel around Your waist for after dinner clean-up?" This is what I'm thinking about this morning.
I open my Bible to John 13 and read how, after dinner, Jesus tied a towel around His waist, poured water into a basin, and began to wash His disciples' feet. They didn't know why He was washing their feet, so Simon Peter asked, "Lord, are You washing my feet?"
It's not hard to picture the grime that would've been at the bottom of the basin.
Jesus answered, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this."
"What will he understand?" I ask Him because if I can know what Peter will understand after Jesus washes his feet, then I'll understand, too.
I read how Peter was appalled that Jesus would be the One washing his feet. "You shall never wash my feet!"
Did Jesus then lower the towel and let it rest while He explained, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me"?
I can appreciate Peter's all or nothing response, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!"
All or nothing. That's not a lukewarm response to Jesus.
Yellow dog and I, we cross the scuffed wooden floor to the kitchen microwave. She follows me to the table, settles with a groan on the tile floor as I settle in my chair, hopefully without a groan. The dishwasher hums in the kitchen with the microwave where my coffee is warming; and my apron, the one I wore last night, hangs on a hook just behind me.
Here I listen to Jesus who's so near and real right now that I almost expect to see an apron missing from one of the hooks and a basin of water at my feet.
I imagine Jesus might hum when He washes my feet.
"He who is bathed," I read what Jesus said to Peter-is saying to me-and before I finish reading His thought I quietly interrupt.
"I know I'm bathed." I whisper it just under the hum. "You washed me by the cleansing power of Your blood."
He listens, and then I start reading again, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean." His thought doesn't stop there, but I'm sipping slowly this morning.
"Hm-m," He hums and I get the feeling He's warming up His voice because I'm starting to hear His words in rich spiritual tones the likes of which are sung by those who know they're washed clean, and know they need Jesus to wash their feet at the end of every day because this world isn't clean.
Mmm-hmm; He who is ba-a-a-athed. It's just rich sound, true as victory.
Hm-m-m, Hm-m-m, Oh-h, he who i-i-i-i-i-is ba-athed needs o-o-only-YES! O-o-only to wa-ash his feet. The notes roll up and down the scale.
But he is completely! I said, completely! Cle-ean! It's old time revival. That's just how I hear it.
"Do you know what I have done to you?" I read His question in John 13:12, and before the disciples can guess an answer or ask what, He tells them. And me.
He tells me how to walk on clean feet.
He tells me to wash others' feet; and to let others was mine.
He tells me that I'm clean, but that I still need to submit my feet, my walk, to a basin of water everyday, and to let the hands of Jesus wash my feet.
To me, this is how to walk in a repentance assured that I am clean.
"You made me clean, and make me clean everyday." This is perfection in an imperfect world.
"If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them." He assures me from John 13:17.