not in part but the whole

March 26, 2005

Thank you, Jesus, she said, for showing me your face in the face of this man . . . And thank you, for giving him to me. And she washed his feet. Gently. Looking up at his face as she did so, from where she knelt. Watching, I felt the familiar sweet ache in the gut that comes from the sight of exquisite beauty. In this case, the beauty of a marriage–a blessed marriage. These two have walked through twenty-some odd years of their lives together and still are moved to tears when expressing their love for each other. Somehow, this portrait was a fitting end to my commemoration of the Friday we call Good. I saw Christ’s face shining vividly in the faces of this couple, and felt the sweetness of quiet fellowship in that, our own Upper Room. This literal acting out of the practice of footwashing brought forth, mysteriously, the figurative reality it hints at. And promise. If two people so beautiful as these can make their way through the world, perhaps there is some hope yet for glimmering moments of goodness to spring forth from our messy, yet cleansed, selves.

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