"Drifting Seeds" by Lauren Wright Pittman
used with permission
A Sanctified Art | sanctifiedart.org
When I was in high school, my pastor washed my feet during a Maundy Thursday service. I felt a wide range of emotions throughout the experience, but what feels most important is how differently I felt before and after having my feet washed. I stood in line with my feet bound in boots while self-conscious thoughts filled my mind. “What if my feet stink?” “What if my toenails aren’t cut?” “What if my feet are blistered and rough to the touch?” I didn’t want my pastor to have to touch my feet. The thing was, he didn’t have to. He humbled himself in response to Jesus’ example.
Once Jesus finishes washing the disciples’ feet, enduring their protest and misunderstanding, he says, “You also ought to wash one another’s feet.” I imagine Jesus splashing around in the water to image the resulting ripples of his action. Jesus sees this moment as a center point of change. If each of the twelve understood and humbled themselves in service to others, and the recipients of their kindness did the same, the ripples of impact would be unending. In this mandala, I imaged each of the disciples turned outward, washing another’s feet with dandelions framing their hands. When you blow on a dandelion, the seeds drift in the wind, rest, take root, and multiply. For me, Jesus’ actions mimic this progression. The seeds he plants in their hearts would take flight and root, spreading the good news ultimately to you and me. As my pastor washed my feet, I was overcome with gratitude and conviction. Tears poured down my face as he knelt and carefully rubbed my feet.
My self-consciousness dissolved into other- consciousness. If my pastor could do this for me, I could certainly go and do likewise.