If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. -- John 13:14
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Humility and meekness do not arise from weakness; both are evidence of true strength and power. In the third verse of this same chapter, John says that Jesus was motivated to rise from the table and take the servant’s place because He knew that He had been given all authority by the Father, that He had come from God and was about to return to God.
If we truly know our place in the cosmos, humility is not humiliating. Service cannot be demeaning to a child of God. Meekness liberates us from the confines and restrictions of the ego. We are able to lay aside the mask and be as they were in the Garden, unashamed. This is the delusion of the world system, that self-exaltation and arrogance are marks of strength, that hardness of heart is sensible, and that scorn, mockery, and unbelief are enlightened.
The Lord is the straight edge that discloses how twisted and deviant our commonsense thinking has become. It is a hard thing to lay aside pride and abase ourselves, yet there is no compulsion. We are not giving in, just giving. We are not acting out of fear but out of love.
I was helping clean the house of a family member several years ago. The place had been allowed to get absolutely filthy to the point that when I first walked in, I nearly gagged on the smell. The person started insisting on paying us for the work we were doing. After a while, his attitude began to annoy me. I rather unkindly snapped out, “You don’t have enough money to pay me to do this.” I know he was just trying to thank us, and I apologized for saying it the way I did, but it was true. I would not have done it at gunpoint – only out of love and concern. A legion of Roman soldiers could not have forced Jesus to bow before Caesar, but He was willing to get down on his knees and wash the feet of those who followed Him.
“Why is the sea the king of a hundred streams?” asked the Ancient Sage.
“Because it lies below them.
Therefore it is the king of a hundred streams.”
(Christ the Eternal Tao, chapter 49)