Down and Dirty

So in my struggle to get back to normal last week I completely forgot another thought I had been mulling over lately.

I remembered what I wanted to say as we were shopping for some new shoes to replace our two pairs of shoes that we were forced to throw away after we finished the Jordan-Middle East portion of our trip.

True, we had both traveled many a mile in those beloved shoes, but the roughest were in the Holy Land.

Do you remember in Matthew 8:36 and again in Luke where Jesus speaks to his Pharisee host who is silently turning his nose up at the “the sinful woman”?  Pay particular attention to Jesus’ reprimand in verse 44,

“Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to eat with        him. So he went to the Pharisee’s home and took his        place at the table. There was a woman who was a        notorious sinner in that city. When she learned that        Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s home, she took an        alabaster jar of perfume and knelt at his feet behind        him. She was crying and began to wash his feet with        her tears and dry them with her hair. Then she kissed        his feet over and over again, anointing them constantly        with the perfume.

Now the Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this and        told himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would        have known who is touching him and what kind of        woman she is. She’s a sinner!”

Jesus told him, “Simon, I have something to ask you.”

“Teacher,” he replied, “ask it.”

“Two men were in debt to a moneylender. One owed        him 500 denarii, and the other 50. When they couldn’t        pay it back, he generously canceled the debts for both        of them. Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon answered, “I suppose the one who had the        larger debt canceled.”

Jesus told him, “You have answered correctly.”

Then, turning to the woman, he told Simon, “Do you        see this woman? I came into your house. You didn’t        give me any water for my feet, but this woman has        washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her        hair. You didn’t give me a kiss,  but this woman, from        the moment I came in, has not stopped kissing my        feet. You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but this        woman has anointed my feet with perfume. So I’m        telling you that her sins, as many as they are, have        been forgiven, and that’s why she has shown such        great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven loves        little.”

Then Jesus told her, “Your sins are forgiven!”

I cannot tell you how wonderful our trip thru Jordan and then to Petra and the Dead Sea was.  BUT it was dirty.

For thousands of years many things have remained the same, and most certainly the DIRT.  Because it’s semi arid, that means DUSTY DIRTY GRITTY dirt on every surface. Oh sure, the cities are paved and clean for the most part, but as soon as you step off the sidewalk and into the ruined castle or the citadel or the ………anywhere, you’re kicking up dirt.

Every night we were in the bathroom washing, no, actually scrubbing our feet, usually only minutes after we walked in the room from outside. I can’t exactly explain the need we felt to get clean, but it was real.

That is why our trusty shoes had to stay there… they just wouldn’t come clean, and the rough hot dry ground had  broken them up as well.

I just can’t imagine traveling, as Jesus did, from city to city, on foot, ‘homeless’, as I mentioned last week. And then add to that the fact that He was in raw leather sandals probably much more primitive than the ones we had; and yet ours really couldn’t cope, even just for a few days.

Again.  Life was hard in Jesus’ day, and we just have to stop once more and appreciate what He has done for us. You’ve all heard the phrase, “getting your hands dirty”, referencing the person who digs into a job heart and soul. After the last couple of weeks, I’m reminded that Jesus “got his feet dirty”… for me and for you. We can be inspired by the beautiful Renaissance paintings of Jesus doing what He came to do in spotless robes and on pristine streets. But for me it’s even more inspiring to realize that He came into a world that was wicked and dirty by any standard, even in the day to day stuff of living.

What a Savior, Who endured all the world had to throw at Him… right down to the daily grime.

Happy Trails, Marsha

PS…  I mentioned last time about having some tests done. They turned out good….nothing wrong, just (probably) I need to stop traveling and try to find some normalcy.  Our friend starts down the dusty dirty road of Chemotherapy tomorrow so please pray for traveling mercies. We as well as our church NEED him to be well.

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