Friday, March 30, 2007

Oh How Many Feet you Meet

Our Assoicate Pastor is turning 50 this weekend. She is taking herself to a spa for the day. She has signed up for various luxury body treatments, but NOT for a pedicure because, she explains, she feels wierd about people touching her feet. As we discussed this, I explained that I've never had a pedicure either. I don't have a problem with people touching my feet, but I have a problem spending money on my feet. (This is entirely illogical as I frequently waste money on overpriced restaurant meals and books I won't read.)

I'd like to test a theory. RevGals who love pedicures are more likely to do footwashing on Maundy Thursday. RevGals who have some kind of psychological barrier to pedicures tend focus on Communion or do a Tennabrae service.

How bout it? Anything to my hypothesis???

15 comments:

cheesehead said...

Love, love, love the pedi.

I would totally do footwashing, but my congregation needs small steps, so we're doing handwashing instead.

SpookyRach said...

From a pew sitter:

Never had a pedicure (pretty much the same reason as you - too many books and too much food) but think I might like it.

Never been to footwashing service because I don't even want to hug these people, much less let 'em play with my toes.

*shudder*

Songbird said...

Um, I just don't think Congregationalists do this very often. I don't mind people touching my feet, and I love a good pedicure. I just don't want to be in charge of getting things wet and drying them up again later...

more cows than people said...

no feet issues here-- love pedicures, though i've only had maybe two in my life. and LOVE footwashing services, though no footwashing this year. just occasionally. it's a bit much for folks.

Anonymous said...

I kind of feel like a stalker, cuz I read your blogs (love em all) and haven't launched mine yet to get in the ring. Headed to seminary this fall as a mid-career change and in need of women to gab with about the insanity of it all.

But - I want to chime in on this one. I was totally freaked about pedicures and footwashing. Then I had the opportunity to participate in a wonderful chapel service on retreat where I washed & was washed. Still easier to do than recieve, but I realized that it is an important part of "getting" what Jesus did. Maybe you caught the brief footwashing scene in the Advent Story movie, too?

Not that I can make ANY theological (or logical) connection between the sweet little Asian women who tend to run the nail spas here and Jesus...

But I figure He told me to love others as I love myself. And I can tell how well I'm doing in both areas by looking at whether I can receive being served in a special way (whether paid or volunteer). If I'm not worthy of pampering, it's time to see what I'm not loving about me... and whether that is a barrier to loving others.

Quotidian Grace said...

Another pewsitter (okay, a choir loft sitter) here chiming in.

I'm a HUGE pedicure fan. Especially dig the hot wax. However you won't catch me at a footwashing service. And yes I was tricked into one once and was MUY uncomfortable the whole time.

So don't worry about yourself. Who says we're all logical?

Kathryn said...

Never had a pedicure, and am with PCIT that I couldn't spend money on my feet like that...but no issues with footwashing whatsoever. Just as well, as we had feet washed by the Bishop before ordination, and it's been part of the fabric of Maundy Thursday for ever for me. I'm washing 12 representative sets of feet this year, as I (provided I don't die of joy) am presiding at the Maundy Thursday Eucharist. I can't really believe I will, but its in the bulletin, so maybe....

zorra said...

First of all, I do enjoy pedicures although I only get one about once a year or so!

The only time I was ever involved in footwashing, it was at a Walk to Emmaus. In that sort of emotionally/spiritually-charged retreat setting, it was powerful. I don't know what it would be like in a church, though! Do I really want Joe or Jane Schmoe from the worship committee washing my feet? I think it would be easier for me to wash theirs.

I like what Anonymous said. come out of hiding, Anonymous!

Jesus did say, "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet,you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you." Hmm! Instituted by God, commended by Christ...where have I heard that before...Oh, but he's just speaking metaphorically, about servanthood...

Right?

Anonymous said...

None of you ladies know me (I'm Martha), and I'm not an ordained minister. I'm a Catholic laywoman, and I love your blogs. (My sister, though, is an Episcopalian priest . . . I'll have to ask her what they are doing in her church this year.)

I've never had a pedicure. I don't like strangers touching me, which is going to make my story that much stranger.

Some years back I attended a Catholic church where, on Holy Thursday, they set up basins in about eight different spots all over the church. If you wanted to, you could wait in line, head up to a basin, sit down, and have your feet washed. Then you turned around, got down on your knees, and washed the feet of the next person.

This is not typical Catholic practice. As far as I know, nobody knew this was coming. This is a large parish, the kind that packs in five crowded services every Sunday. So, lots of total strangers. Several hundred pairs of sweaty feet. (And yes, it took forever! But Catholics expect long services during Holy Week.)

As a general rule, I'm so anti-touchy-feely I can't stand the custom in some Catholic churches of holding hands during the Our Father. I can't think why I didn't just sit in my pew the whole time.

But I got up. And this moment: this was powerful. When a woman washed my feet, I felt appalled . . . as a modern person in a western society, I was uncomfortable with letting anyone kneel to serve me in this way. Talk about an insight into Peter! I'd always intellectually understood his objection, but now I felt it in my very body. Can you imagine this son of a hierarchical world, this fisherman, who sees his lord, his Rabbi, kneel before him?

I then knelt and washed the feet of the man behind me. It felt uncomfortable, servile in the most obvious sense: the act of a servant. The idea that the Lord of the universe did that for us . . . that He loves us that much . . . It blew me away.

I've never read that passage since without remembering the power of that moment and thinking about what we are called to be for each other: "You call me Teacher, and Master, and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, who am the Master and Teacher have washed your feet, so you should wash each other's feet."

Mary Ann said...

I'm far too mean to pay to be pedicured, but my limited experience with footwashng has been powerful, and I will be doing foot- and hand-washing next Thursday.

Presbyterian Gal said...

Love pedicures. Gettin' them. Not given' them. Don't wanna touch other folks toes. and would rather have strangers touch mine than fellow church members. Skewed sense of boundaries, I know. But there you have it.

Bag Lady said...

A number of years ago, our associate rector (Episcopalian) asked me if I would be one of the foot-washees on Maundy Thursday. I told her how uncomfortable I would be. Snappy comeback: You're not supposed to be comfortable.

So I did it. Utterly uncomfortable, in keeping with the disciples' reaction.

My young son, who went with me up to the front, as he saw what was going on, pulled off his shoes and socks.

And a little child shall lead them.

Bad Alice said...

I wouldn't mind a pedicure, but I'm very sensitive to filing and abrasion of any kind, so I find that both manicures and pedicures are a sort of torture.

I would run screaming for the hills if my church suggested footwashing. Ewwww. I don't really get it--in general I don't want a stranger washing any part of me.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

I love having my toe nails done. I have always done my daughters and my mom's.

I have been been in a foot washing service but I do think it is time that the Church begin to do the things that they are uncomfortable with.

Mother Laura said...

Your hypothesis makes sense to me. I love footwashing--giving and getting--and getting and giving foot massages. Would love pedicures too(only had one, long ago, the day before my wedding) but am freaked out about the health issues reported someplaces.