Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Basin of Grace: Washing my disciples’ feet

JOHN 13:34
“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.”
breath-taking view from the Abraham Hall of Peniel Prayer Mountain, Tarlac

from my journal
January 25, 2014. Today will surely be among those that I (we) will never (and should never!) fail to remember. Because today, I washed my disciples’ feet.

Pastoring the youth ministry for about four years already and discipling many of them for about six to seven years now, I’ve always know in my heart that it will happen.. it shall come sooner or later. However, though I’ve thought of it twice or thrice, I simply have not received any clear leading to do so in the past. Ngayon lang.

God of timing. God ha set the timing perfectly as our hearts have been marinated lately as result of our two-week fast, kaya napaka-sensitive ng lahat to the promptings of God.

Tears began to flow as we talked about serving and loving our disciples unconditionally, as well as the need to ensure that our hearts are healed and healthy-- (especially even after heartbreaking experiences with disciples who left) not calloused and defensive. But they began to literally sob and weep aloud, with faces covered with their hands when I made it known that I wanted to wash their feet.

Christ in me. I sensed that it was Christ in me (He dwells in each of us, amen?) when I took off my shoes, knelt down, and started to wash their feet one by one. Kneeling down and washing their feet was a very humbling moment for me as I took the literal form of a servant, carrying their feet onto the water basin and scooping water to cleanse them.

Commitment. In my heart at the time I was telling God two things: first, I was thanking Him for the opportunity to share in His humility and be like Him. At the same time, I was asking God for grace, since washing their feet meant my commitment of love and mercy to each one, deciding to love, lead, serve, and accept them “despite of..” and "no matter what". I knew apart from Him I can only break my covenant.

Grace. Not one in the room was perfect. The years of discipleship has shown a lot of issues that need rebuke, correction, patience, love, and grace. Yet Jesus washed his disciples’ feet (a) to offer his mercy: that His love would surpass even their greatest mistakes; and (b) to offer grace: to touch the unclean and grimy parts of the people he was committed with... and to wash away their unkindness with His kindness. Oh, the basin of grace.
I told them that because of what took place on this day, wherever destiny may bring us, they will always have a part of me.

My exact words that still jerk tears in me:
“If ever you runaway, make mistakes, turn away from God, leave your spot or calling.... REMEMBER THIS DAY. Magagalit, magtatampo, malulungkot man ako, REMEMBER THIS DAY. Because on this day, by God’s grace, I have chosen to offer Christ’s mercy and grace. If ever these unfortunate things happen, balik ka lang... Committed ako sayo.” (Oh man! What’s with the tears again? I need that pack of Kleenex please!)

Today I have witness that yes, it is true -- that more often than not, when one party humbles himself and kneels down, the two parties usually end up both humbled and both on their knees. This was what happened. After washing all of their feet, everyone just bowed down before our Lord --- humbled, thankful, amazed, healed. Crying out, speaking in heavenly languages, worshipping, consecrating.

After our extensive time of prayer, worship and soaking came HUGS!!! (I love hugs!) What I have sensed and heard from them is that everyone received an overwhelming amount of love, mercy, and grace. It’s the sort that makes your heart explode! Unspeakable, uncontainable! Too good to be true --- supernatural! OH MY HEART IS FULL.

As a result, my love for them increased in so many ways as my level of commitment also increased! I didn’t realize until that day that I am capable of loving them that much (thank You Jesus for enlarging my heart!). And in the same way, it brings to much joy to my heart (and I believe to the Father’s heart) that, as a result of receiving pure grace and love, their love for one another also soared to lavish heights! I have never seen them have more love for each other before! OH MY HEART IS FULL.

To end my sharing, I will be completely open in revealing that it has always been my heart’s desire to not only have a leader’s mind, but a leader’s heart (which is, of course, a servant’s heart). I remember three years ago during our team trip to Baguio City, because of some occurrences unknown to them but known to my heart (uhm, I’m not sure if they even know this), on our way home I was crying in a dark corner of our vehicle... and I typed a short note on my phone to express my agony --- “I have the mind of a leader, but not a heart of one.” :(

Thankfully, for the past years God has changed me. And he continues to do so.
But today, I have been totally set free! Today all of these were banished by the touch and grace of God. I too was cleansed and renewed from the basin of grace. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Jesus.

Oh, the beauty of the basin of grace. 


Luisa Marmol said...

How powerful, Ate Jez. Very moving. Tunay na abounding ang grace ni God πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜„

Luisa Marmol said...

How powerful, Ate Jez. Very moving. Tunay na abounding ang grace ni God πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜„

jampangilinan said...

You're an inspiration to me, Jez! Keep it up~ <3

jampangilinan said...

You're an inspiration to me, Jez! Keep it up <3

Jez said...

Hello, Luisa! Thank you for taking time to read :) Sharing tayo minsan about discipleship and the ministry. Congratulations in advance for your graduation! I'm excited for the great exploits you'll do for the Kingdom of God!

Jez said...

Hi, Jam! I didn't know you were still blogging. I'm definitely checking your blog after typing this reply. Thanks for being a good friend all these years. Looking forward to meeting you soon, and to knowing you more! Love you Jam