«And since l, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet (John 13:14).
One Friday afternoon, as I was going home, I bumped into an elderly lady who wanted to why there was so much movement around the church. I told her that later that night, there would be communion service and invited her to attend with me so we could take part in the foot washing together. She turned down my invitation because she didn’t have any stockings or pantyhose. I offered her some new ones, but there was another underlying issue and I became aware of it when she also rejected the Stocking’s.
«I feel so unworthy of participating. How do you know He really forgives you? And what if you ask for forgiveness and forget to ask Him to forgive one of your sins? I’m not ready. I can’t go tonight.
I was surprised by how seriously she took the whole matter and her deep soul searching (something we sometimes neglect to do). I told her, however, that there was still time for her to settle her accounts with God and that beautiful and very meaningful moment was just the right time to do it; that God saw her heart, knew here sincerity and that, if she confessed her sins and repented, He would forgive her.
We talked about prayer and the cross as truths we can truly experience, about the Holy Spirit working through the voice of our conscience and things that surpass our senses, but which through faith and a genuine relationship with God can give us peace and assurance.
Together we read a few verses about forgiveness. With eyes filled with tears and a smile as big as a birthday girl, she asked, (‘Does He really do all of that?»
Smiling back, I replied, «Yes, He does. See how much He loves you?» She was bursting with joy. She told me she wanted to take part in the Lord’s Supper, that she understood that those moments were reminders of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross, of her humility before Him to learn more about service and that she would continue to long for the day when eternity with Him would begin.
We closed our eyes right there on the sidewalk, and asked God for forgiveness and thanked Him for answering our prayer.
I was saddened that because of a pair of stockings (which were actually not necessary) she almost lost out on participating in such a meaningful rite.
Let’s keep our eyes open. Sometimes a «pair of stockings» is the distance between someone and our opportunity to share the best news.