My wife had a new lady helping her with house cleaning. In casual conversation, Gerry mentioned living in an adjacent county when she was a little girl. My wife alluded to the fact that I had been a principal at an elementary school in that area. Gerry recalled that the principal of her school was Mr. Lauter. After a moment, with wide eyes she exclaimed, “You’re Mr. Lauter! You’re Mr. Lauter! You washed my feet!”
She then related an event that had us both in tears. Her family had just moved into the community. She was new to the school, didn’t know anybody, and was frightened. At recess, she went out on the playground and kicked off her shoes to play. She stepped on a piece of glass and cut her foot. She remembered the principal picking her up, carrying her into the principal’s office, taking a basin of water, washing her foot and bandaging it. In the next moments, my heart was warmed as together we relived the long ago event.
That memory was quickly followed by another. Her family had just moved the day before. She was still frightened and confused when she boarded the school bus for home. About an hour later, the bus driver brought her to my office. She was sobbing. She couldn’t remember where she lived. I assured her that we would find her home and she calmed down. After driving numerous streets and roads, we found her home and a very anxious mother. Time prohibits me from also sharing details of rescuing her when she got stuck between standards on the swing set. As we talked, the fog of the past fifty years lifted as precious memories flooded in.
Later, because of my conversion with Gerry, I was able to push the curtain of time back even farther. I remembered when Jesus found me wounded by sin, confused, and needing a friend. He washed my feet, bound up my wounded soul, and became my life-long friend. Like Thomas the Disciple (John 14), I was lost and didn’t know the way to my eternal home. Then I heard Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” I’ve followed Him ever since. When I had attempted so long ago to help a child, Jesus had likewise reached out to me. Gerry proved to be not so much a frightened little girl, but the embodiment of Jesus. A verse of scripture came to mind, “Then the King will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, anything you did for even the least of my people here, you also did for me’ (Matthew 25:40, NCV).
Have you been wounded by sin? Do you need a friend to bind up a broken heart? Jesus will do that and more. He will show you the way home. If you are a believer, are you reaching out to hurting people like He has reached out to you? That’s what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2, NIV).
~ Brother Roy