Beautiful Feet

>> December 25, 2010

My nostrils stung from the assault of dust I inhaled when I was thrown in the street. I swiped at the tears on my cheeks and smeared the salty dust mixed moisture and noticed a muddy mess on the back of my hand. My head ducked low, I saw feet begin to form a circle around me; dirty, hairy man-toes, disgusting.

To the left, I recognized the toes. They were clean. Only moments ago I held those feet in my lap, seductively washing them. I always start with their feet. After he laid a few coins on the seat next to him, I let my hand wander up his firm calf gently massaging the muscles before they gradually found their way to his thigh. 

I stared at those clean feet and noticed his outer garment askew, hastily thrown on. Husky men’s voices screamed “Stone her, stone her.”

Two pairs of thick, meaty hands dug into my armpits and hauled me to an upright position. I clutched the folds of the bed linens and held them securely around me. The linens I was fortunate enough to grab when the men barged into my chambers and wrenched me out from under him…the one with the clean feet.

My eyes wandered towards the cockeyed outer garment, which abruptly shifted into place. In my peripheral vision I saw heads turn and spot this nervous act. I had to force myself not to sneer with satisfaction that he, too, was now under the judgmental glares of ignorant accusers.

The pious Pharisee smoothed his beard over his chest and intentionally waited for the crowd to grow before he spoke. “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.” He pointed his gnarled finger in my face. “The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

Go ahead and stone me, I thought to myself. I don’t have anything worth living for anyway. I’ve shamed my family.

This teacher crouched down in front of me and wrote in the dust, ignoring the badgering demands of the Pharisees. The crowd’s angry taunts turned to confused murmurs. Finally, he faced the robed, self-righteous, keeper of the law.

“Who is without sin among you,” he paused and looked each man straight in the eyes. “Let him throw a stone at her first.”

He proceeded to squat down and continued to write in the dust. Deliberate, gentle authority could be observed in his speech and his ledger of dust.  

Stones dropped to the earth with thuds. One-by-one, the men dispersed until I was left staring at the feet of the one they called Teacher.

“Where are your accusers?”

His feet looked different from the numerous ones I’ve held in my lap. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them.

“Has no one condemned you?”

I clung to the wad of linen in my hand and forced myself to look into his face. “No one…Lord.”

“Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”

My eyes darted to his feet when I turned to leave. Such beautiful feet. Sin no more? I’m not sure I know how to do that. Exposed, I gathered the excess bed-sheet at my feet and turned to leave.

I heard him speak to the handful of men that stayed with him. “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”


I stared at the alabaster box. A valuable gift for my services, a reminder of my sin, or should I say the command to sin no more? I could sell it, but that seemed a greedy use of the sin-earned gift. I lay in bed… alone, and stared into the darkness. Follow him…the light of the world…light of life…?

I knew how to locate him. He seemed to leave a wake of miracles mixed with controversy that left an easy path to his feet. When I found him, I didn’t care who was around. I couldn’t contain my passion for the Teacher.

I barged into the group of men lounged at the table and stood there weeping, my tears drenched the front of my cloak.  That’s when I figured it out. I planned to give him the valuable alabaster box, but instead, I instantly broke it open and poured it on his feet.  Mixed with my tears, I loosened my hair and wiped his feet, the aroma of spikenard oil filled the air.

He was talking, but I didn’t really hear him until he placed his hand on my head and spoke directly to me.  “Your sins are forgiven.”

Once I knelt at the Teacher’s feet and poured out my precious treasure, I finally understood how to go and sin no more.

It must start at His feet. Such beautiful feet.

Isiah 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

 *Author's note:
While there isn't significant scripture to support the connection of the events in this story to being one woman it has often been pondered that they could be the same woman. I did some research after I wrote this and honestly couldn't find sufficient proof. Please remember that this is fiction and don't pick up any stones to be thrown at the author for using creative license. Be blessed. :)

1 comments so far...Care to leave your thoughts?:

Joanne Sher 12/26/2010  

Ohh - SO beautifully done. Certainly could have been the same woman--love the lesson if it is (or even just through the story if it isn't!). Great stuff, Mari!

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