By Nerissa Golden
Originally published in Truly Woman Magazine (October 2008)
Have you ever met a man worthy enough for you to kiss his feet? Is the man in your life presently worthy of such honor and if he was would you kiss his feet?
Your honey walks in the door after his regular basketball game with the fellas. He says to you “Baby, you are gonna have to kiss my feet when I tell you about the game I just won.” He goes on to give you a play by play but you don’t hear about the dunk he made or the pass that led to the winning point, you are still stunned that he dared to say you would want to kiss his funky feet.
At the Feet of Jesus
We would find it really hard and in many cases impossible to lower ourselves to kiss the feet of the man we have pledged to love for a lifetime yet there was a woman who took her time, which was money; and a year’s worth of pay for an opportunity to kiss the feet of a stranger.
In Luke 7:36-50 we read the story of a woman who anoints Jesus. This is not the same woman who anointed Jesus shortly before his crucifixion.
Jesus has been invited to eat at the home of a Pharisee and a woman, described only as someone who Jesus should not be associated with comes to see him. The Pharisee said that obviously Jesus could not be a prophet as he would know what kind of woman she was and to distance himself from her.
I know I am glad Jesus never distanced himself from me because of the choices I made. He won’t do that now because of mistakes you made yesterday, today, or will make tomorrow.
This woman knew who she was. She obviously didn’t just have a past, she was living a life that still had tongues wagging. She heard Jesus, the Savior, the King of kings was in town at the home of a religious leader and she needed to be near Him.
When last have you just wanted to be near your man? Not needing anything but his presence, wanting only to give to him and not take. It is really hard to do something that you have never seen others do or practiced yourself. The mere thought of doing something so base, funky feet or not makes you want to take a step back.
She was kissing Jesus’ funky feet. When the Pharisee complained, Jesus reminded him that he had invited him but had not provided any water as was customary to wash the guest’s feet. They wore sandals and either walked everywhere or rode donkeys. That region of the world is quite dusty and dry and hot, hence funky feet that needed to be washed after coming inside.
We can imply that she was a prostitute or adulteress as her sins were obviously of the nature that others knew about and looked down on. Let’s suppose she was a prostitute then she came and poured an important business investment on very dirty feet. She used her perfume which would have otherwise been used to entice new customers on the feet of the Master. It was all she had to give and she gave it without regret or pause. In another setting or with another man she may have offered her body but she knew who she was attending to and sex was the wrong currency. She felt compelled to give and so she gave him of her tears, her kisses and her perfume.
In recent months, I have loathed the thought of coming to Jesus only with tears. I have felt it a waste of time and guilty as if I was trying to manipulate Him to do something for me.
Give Him Your Tears
Tears are a language God understands is an old hymn I remember from church but somehow we have lost the ability to shed tears and kiss the feet of the Savior. So many of us have bottled up our tears inside, not wanting to appear weak, not wanting our men to know they hurt us with their words and actions. Tears can be sad or happy but tears can also simply be worship. In much the same way a prostitute understands that to keep the clients happy you worship them and give them what they need, this woman offered her prized possessions – her perfume, her hair, her tears and her kisses. She dared not kiss his lips or his face, she felt no such honor. She bent herself to the lowest part of his body and worshipped there. Her tears were enough to wash his feet. She used her hair – symbol of a woman’s glory to dry them.
She, not being worthy to look upon His face, utter a word or ask for forgiveness, worshipped his feet. She knew she was in the presence of a man who was worth more than every tear she could shed, every kiss she could give, every drop of the perfume she worked hard for. She loved Him the only way she could.
Jesus’ response was to tell her that her many sins had been forgiven for she “loved much (v.47).” Jesus called what she did love. “He who has been forgiven little loves little.” This woman knew there were many sins to be forgiven. Somehow she came ready to lavish her love on this man. She had been forgiven much and needed to say thank you.
What does this have to do with kissing your husband’s feet? He is required to love you like Christ loves the church. This woman had experienced the forgiveness of the Christ and believed He was the Son of God. She left His presence saved and in peace (v.50). She represented the Church.
Could you Surrender?
As an earthly reflection of Christ’s love – your husband too should be lavishly embraced with your kisses, your tears your glory. What we would call a loss of power actually freed this woman from a past of guilt and shame. What we would never want our friends to know, stooped so low to do – brought her a renewed level of faith, salvation and peace with God.
Feet are used to walk and run, but they are also used to kick and step on things. She did not fear that Jesus would step over her, kick her out-of-the-way or walk away from her actions. It was a sign of surrender and trust. For many, it would be hard to show this level of trust and surrender to a husband as we are not secure in their actions. We fear that they would use this lowered position to walk over us and disrespect our womanhood.
Whatever brought her to see Jesus that day, she came ready to love and love Him she did. Without regard for her sins or unworthiness to be in the presence of Jesus, enough love was poured out of her and into Him that he said “she has loved much.”
Could your husband say confidently “my wife loves me much”?
So what about the men? What do they have to do while we are busy kissing their feet? Nothing. They need to recline as Jesus was and take it.
“I’m not doing that unless he does it first or be willing to do the same,” is your response.
Be quiet and anoint his feet.
“You don’t know what he said to me this morning.”
Wet his feet with your tears.
‘You have no idea how tired I am of serving him and the kids.”
Kiss his feet.
“I have nothing else to give.”
Dry his feet with your hair.
When we do what God is requiring of us without hesitation, the job then falls to Him to make sure that our husbands complete their part.
PS. God has a weakness for Daughters who feel free to cry to Him for help.