Fourth grade. Jill. My life was miserable. Her incessant teasing and cold shoulders turned a majority of the girls against me. I didn’t want to go outside at recess. I didn’t wan to go to school. She was a mean girl and it hurt. I hurt.
Mean girls don’t always stay in the fourth grade. Sometimes mean girls grow up into mean women. The damage is worse than some hurt feelings and some fourth grade drama. It’s colossal. It’s broken lives and broken hearts. Maybe you’ve been collateral damage from a mean girl grown up. I have.
I’ve had grown-up mean girls slander me, lie to me, keep life altering secrets from me. I have had mean girls use my grief for their own gain. I’ve had mean girls extend the hand of intimate friendship in my weakness only to rescind it and push me away.
It hurts. I hurt.
But in the middle of one of these seasons, God reminded me of a pretty powerful truth. Jesus was betrayed. Jesus was betrayed and it cost him his life.
Rewind the story of Jesus on the cross step by step. He was sold out by one of his chosen few. Just a few moments before, Jesus shared the Passover meal with him. During the meal Jesus predicted the betrayal. And during that same meal he washed his feet.
Really Jesus? Some loser is going to sell you out for some change and you wash his feet?
The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13: 2-5
Yes. Jesus knelt at the feet of Judas to wash his feet. Jesus, the Messiah, bowed down to wash human feet. Human feet that were running toward betrayal.
My first reaction is regret. I ask myself “Why did I do that? Why did I let her in? I should have seen the signs!” I retreat. I build walls around my heart. I may even hold a grudge.
But not Jesus. Jesus wades into the waters of betrayal washing feet. He serves his betrayer. He loves even his betrayer.
That’s a blow to my gut. I’m not there. When I compare myself to the Master I see just how far I have to go. I’m not there… yet.
So I guess that’s my challenge today. Let the walls down. Give up the grudge and wade in the water. And yes, even wash the feet of mean girls grown up.