i finally got my feet washed.

they were sore from a day

of running and standing still,

of impatience and veiled pride,

and i wondered, as i sat in the pew,

whether the one who washed them

would be able to smell the sweat

from my socks and shoes.

but as i waited in line for my turn,

i looked at the pink and brown feet

around me, vulnerable in their bareness,

and realized our feet had all been places

that had made them dirty,

no matter the story.

when i sat down in the washing chair

the woman looked me in the eyes,

smiled, asked my name, whispered hers.

the water was warm and the sponge was soft

as she gently cleansed first one foot

and then the other, drying them on

the white towel tucked into her cassock cord.

i felt the dampness between my toes

as i padded back down the aisle to my row

and wondered if i dared

take communion barefoot, too.

what God has declared clean, let not man call common.