My feet were in less than optimal shape when I left Europe, as you probably remember. I most likely have a stress fracture in my left foot, and my heels are so calloused from former blisters and chafing that they look much older than 20.
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns! Isaiah 52:7
Right. beautiful. I bet they are less than beautiful, especially if they have to climb mountains to bring the good news.
My feet have been taking a much needed break this week, the only exception to that when I lost my mom in Target and traipsed the entire store trying to find her. I’m so not used to these huge stores.
I wonder why Isaiah used beautiful. Or at least, I wondered until I looked at the entire chapter. The passage speaks of God loosening Jerusalem’s bonds, of putting on strength and being redeemed. Of course the feet of the person who proclaims that God reigns and that peace and salvation are coming would be beautiful.
So the red, sore, blistered feet that have been crammed into hiking boots in order to scale a mountain are beautiful because they bring with them the message of salvation.
I went to Holy Yoga with my mom yesterday. In the classes, when you’re in final relaxation pose (do not for a minute assume that we lay on the ground for the entire class though. Oh heck no. My soreness today is proof of that) the teacher comes around and usually rubs your temples with an essential oil and makes the sign of the cross on your forehead.
This time, however, the teacher came around and rubbed our feet with oil.
I can’t tell you how powerful that was to me. It was like an anointing, and in that moment, I felt God blessing my poor, hurting, calloused feet. Or rather, the message that I could bring on the mountains if I used my feet.
The teacher came up to me after the class with a towel, saying, “Sorry, I used way too much oil on your feet!” I laughed and tried to wipe a bit of it off so I wouldn’t slide right out of my flip-flops. But I still could feel the oil on my feet all day. And it was a reminder of the blessing that blistered, calloused feet can bring.
Our feet can be the instrument to bring good news, to proclaim salvation and redemption. I want my feet to be blistered and stress fractured if that means that I can use them to proclaim that God is redeeming and bringing new life.
How beautiful that would be, to proclaim that our God reigns, no matter the toll on my feet. Because God will take care of my feet.