Those Who No Longer Have Dirt on Their Feet

Story of the Day for Wednesday November 30, 2011

Those Who No Longer Have Dirt on Their Feet

                     Jesus got up from the dinner, set aside his outer garments, and wrapped a towel around his waist. Then, putting water in a basin, he began to wash his disciple’s feet. 

                                                                      John 13:4-5

When the drawing was over, everyone stared at their leader and realized he was guilty. Their commander ordered that all 28 of them would draw lots, but when it was over, everyone knew the drawing had been rigged.


Voter fraud and rigged elections will always occur when those lusting power have the opportunity to cheat the system. At elections, residents of Chicago often cynically urge each other to “vote early; vote often.”


Ernest Shackleton and his crew, seeking to become the first party to cross the continent of Antarctica, set out in their ship, Endurance, in 1914. The ice floes in the Weddell Sea, however, stranded their ship. For ten months they waited for the ice to release its grip, but instead the ice crushed Endurance’s sides, and she sank.

Alone in a sea of ice, the crew was forced to pull three lifeboats in sub-zero temperatures, in the hope of finding open water.


The expedition never planned that everyone would leave the ship. They had brought only eighteen warm, reindeer-fur sleeping bags. They managed to take some of their wool blankets and improvise extra sleeping bags, but they were hardly comfortable in the arctic cold.

Who should get the warm bags? Shackleton announced they would draw lots. As sailors claimed their sleeping bags, however, they began to grow suspicious. After everyone had drawn lots, they realized the enterprise had been rigged. As seaman William Blakewell later recalled, “There was some crooked work in the drawing, as Sir Ernest, Mr. Wild (the Second in Command), Captain Worsley and some of the other officers all drew wool bags. The fine, warm fur bags all went to the men under them.”

First Officer, Lionel Greenstreet said of Shackleton, “His first thought was for the men under him. He didn’t care if he went without a shirt on his back so long as the men he was leading had sufficient clothing.”


In Jewish life, servants could be made to perform any task, no matter how servile, except one: no servant could ever be made to wash his master’s feet. That act was considered too degrading – even for a servant.

Yet, during the Passover feast, Jesus kneeled before the men he led and performed the act that not even a servant would consider.

If all you want from those you lead is compliance, then barking orders and issuing ultimatums should do the trick. But if you’re looking for undying loyalty, you’ll find it from those who no longer have dirt on their feet . . . because of you.

I offer no advice on voter fraud.

                                                                   (copyright by and by Marty Kaarre)