Washing dirty feet..!
THE principal in charge of the school, a nun, took me to a classroom, “Look at this student! She is the one you asked admission for last year! Just look at her hair!” “What’s wrong with her?” I asked uncertainly. “Look at the rest of the class,” whispered the principal, “See how neatly they have combed their hair, now look at this one!” I looked sadly at the girl, who stood before me her eyes downcast, I knew the parents, they were poor as church mice, yet the father had begged me to talk last year to the school to admit his daughter, “I cannot give her a dowry!” he had cried, “But if she gets educated, she will not go through the struggles we’ve been through!”
“Sister,” I said, “Wouldn’t it be useful to her, if she learnt from you how to do her hair? Isn’t that why you decided to become a nun? To serve the poor? Or have you become so used to the rich, that the poor are now forsaken?” I walked out of the school, and a picture came to my mind, I saw Christ washing the feet of his followers two thousand years ago. I knew this ceremony of washing feet was followed every now and again, by religious people, but did they know that teaching a poor girl to comb her hair, was actually the same as the symbol of washing somebody’s feet?
I see it happening in every so called charitable field: Hospitals built painstakingly to cater to poor sections now look after those who can afford to go elsewhere! Schools and colleges started by religious orders have now become elitist in their outlook and look down at the poor. I can imagine a scene where Christ bends down to wash feet and his disciples say, “One minute Lord don’t touch his feet!”
“Why what’s wrong with them?” asks their master. “They are dirty! We have selected twenty people, after examining their feet; we have soaped and scrubbed their legs, cut their toe nails, so you won’t get scraped by them, and have also perfumed them so they won’t smell! Now master, go ahead and wash them!”
I can imagine the scene, can you? I know their Lord will look at them sadly and whisper, “It’s for the dirty feet I came down!” Yes it’s for those dirty feet that those school, hospitals and many other NGOs are started. If you can’t wash those dirty feet anymore, close up shop, but don’t be a hypocrite inside your wash basins..! —Email:firstname.lastname@example.org