This weekend (Ok, this happened in February and I never finished the post :s), I participated, with the DOOR board, in the annual Foot Washing done by First UMC in Miami. This event hosts the chronically and continually homeless for lunch, showers, foot washing and an examination by the UM Podiatry students. The goal is restore dignity and hygiene. There are many causes of chronic homelessness and economic deficiencies are only a small part of that. First UMC chooses to focus on making the homeless as safe, healthy and comfortable as they can be in their current living conditions.
Foot Washing is a biblical practice, as shown by Jesus when he knelt to wash the feet of the disciples. It’s by far one of the most intimate and active ways, I’ve seen people provide homeless ministry. While I didn’t participate with the actual foot washing (they had plenty of volunteers), we facilitated the showers that were offered.
I love the idea that this event solves small problems, one at a time. It’s not creating large systematic change in one fell swoop. That’s not a bad thing.
Eventually this could lead to large systematic changes but even if it doesn’t it creates a big change in the life of one, two or more people.
The most important thing about the Foot Washing is not the actual care. Think about when your parent kissed your booboos as a child. That kiss alone is not providing medical treatment but power of healing touch still makes a difference The foot washing gives each person a moment to feel loved, remembered and have full attention of someone else.