The First Sandals Love Story
Dirt and dust: that’s what the first sandals love story was about. It happened quite a long time ago. But it’s keenly relevant to every workplace, school, and home today. Wherever people get together, the message still has so much punch it’s almost awkward to talk about.
The first sandals love story happened on a night of religious celebration in the Middle East, called The Passover. Jews everywhere were enjoying the occasion with a special Passover meal. But in one home in Jerusalem, something surprising was taking place, and it involved a bunch of sandal wearing men with very grubby feet.
Their leader, or teacher if you like, should have been sitting at the top of the table. But he took a low-key seat instead. Then, when it came time for ritually washing his hands before the meal, he went one better. He physically washed the feet of each of the men. Now, when you go out and about in sandals it’s no big issue. But back then, with no sewage let alone socks, it was dirty work. That’s why it was considered the kind of task fit only for the lowest of servants. The real sandals love story had begun.
The guy? Well it was Jesus, of course. But what was the point of Him getting down and dirty, washing these adult men’s undoubtedly filthy feet? Short on hired help, perhaps? No. This first sandals love story laid down in a powerfully symbolic way what being a leader really means.
Consider your average CEO of today: efficient, intelligent, incisive, and well-spoken. If they know their business they might also have a flair for greatness. But try imagining them in a contemporary sandals love story situation. How would they go?
What about leaders in research, education, health, and the law? What of politicians, religious leaders, and, dare I say it, parents? How well do we reveal humbleness in our own modern day sandals love story? I guess it’s up to us to make sense of the event. But I can’t help thinking that great leaders everywhere, in every conceivable field, put their people before themselves. Maybe by giving the glory to someone else, cleaning up a junior’s mess, or perhaps putting up the interests of others in any number of ways. Whichever, it’s the ultimate sign of leadership and only those with both courage and devotion can do it.