Mom called it nice-nasty—a phrase she used to describe me even as a child.
According to Mom, I despised getting dirty. When any substance got on my hands—be it dirt or anything sticky, I immediately wanted it washed off. I suppose that’s why I’ve always despised the beach. Clinging and sticky sand all over my body and in my hair is just not my cup of tea.
Mom diagnosed me correctly. While there are times I enjoy getting dirty—such as when I’m mowing the lawn, working in the flower bed, or tending to my garden, normally I enjoy being clean. Five days backpacking is the longest I’ve ever been without a shower—and even then I washed off in the cold mountain rivers each night.
But I’ve discovered serving Jesus requires getting dirty. Jesus himself proved that. Prior to his arrest and ensuing crucifixion, he taught his disciples that obeying him involved serving others—and serving others almost always entails getting dirty. So he took on a servant’s role and washed their feet. Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded (John 13:5 NASB).
Getting dirty in Jesus’ name may mean serving on a mud-out unit with Disaster Relief, cutting up fallen trees and dragging away limbs in the scorching heat, cooking and feeding the hungry in buildings with no air conditioners, befriending someone from a race you’ve always stereotyped, or giving money to a charitable cause when you’d rather spend it on yourself. The list of how we can get dirty is endless, but so are the rewards for doing so.
What dirty situation is Jesus prompting you to wallow in that you’ve been avoiding?
Prayer: Merciful Savior, as You served us by taking on the filth of our sins, may we serve You by getting dirty for others.
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