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Are you a foot washer? | Life

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Are you a foot washer?
Are you a foot washer?

In my business I have the pleasure to speak to many different people from a variety of backgrounds and occupations. As one might expect, good conversations will naturally turn to personal philosophy and world views.

A recent conversation with a fellow Rainbow Chamber member veered into the area of our activities in the community and our work with non-profits. Richard summarized his role as, “I am a foot washer, that’s what I was called to do”. I had never heard or thought of that analogy for someone who actively seeks to help, heal and cleanse the soul of another.

If you are not familiar with the foot washing metaphor it is recounted in the Gospel of John about how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples before the festival of Passover.

“Then he (Jesus) poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.” “For I have set for you an example that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them.” John 13: 5, 15 – 16 NRSV

The foot washing experience is replicated during Holy Week in many churches where the parishioners will have their feet washed by the Priest or other Lay members. It is quite a humbling experience to have your feet washed by someone else, much less a person of position. If someone can kneel and wash my feet, perhaps I can do the same.

I would like to consider myself a foot washer: someone who serves everyone, regardless status or position. From my perspective, no religion or culture has an exclusive on becoming a ‘foot washer’.

Shortly after my first conversation, I was talking to Michael, a busy attorney in the community and member of my BNI group, who was pumped up about his work and outreach to the homeless in Sacramento. Michael’s mission is not a typical corporate gesture of contributing money to a high profile problem. Michael likes to get in the trenches, get dirty and wash the feet of others. You can tell by the passion in his voice that he is looking beyond the physical into the very soul and spark of humanity that all of us have.

The downside to talking with erudite and compassionate people is you have to ask the question, “Do I measure up? Am I doing all that I can to help my neighbor? Or am I to consumed with my own financial plight that I miss the bigger picture?”

There are many women who are foot washers, but it comes naturally and easier for them. Sorry guys, most of us are too self-absorbed to take time and review our lives. Some day they will make a pill for our condition. Until then, guys must necessarily struggle to stay focused on washing the feet of others whether it is being the coach of our children’s team sport, in our relationships, working with clients or dealing with strangers.

All I know is that I am fortunate to have good friends like Richard and Michael who gently challenge me in thought and action. Are you a foot washer? I am pretty sure most of you are, and Thank You for being wonderful examples in our community.


Rancho Cordova / Rosemont / Gold River Deals