John 13:6

“Lord do you wash my feet?”-John 13:6

Jesus made his way around to each of his disciples, skipping none.  Not even the betrayer was passed over.  I wonder what Peter was thinking. “What is Jesus doing?  This is a job for servants, not for my friend, my teacher, my Lord.  How could he stoop to this level?  I will just tell him to skip over me; that will prove that I respect him.”  If I had to guess at Peter’s primary emotion in that moment, it would be shame.

For many of us, shame is a frequent, if not constant, companion.  Shame whispers messages such as, “You are unworthy of being loved” or “If that person only knew the wickedness of your thoughts, they would rather spit in your face as soon as accept you.”  Peter was looking for an exit. He did not want to face his shame, so he questioned Jesus.

Many of us act like Peter. Rather than acknowledge our feelings of unworthiness, rather than accept love, we look for exits.  Maybe we use humor as an avoidance strategy, making light of intimacy. Perhaps we turn to anger, because lashing out at another person is safer than accepting grace and love in the midst of our shame.

Jesus, you came to show us how to live and how to love. You leaned in to cleanse us from our sin and to daily remind us that in you, shame has no hold, so we no longer have to hide.  Teach us to trust in you and to accept your grace. Amen.

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