While some Christian denominations view washing of feet as a symbolic gesture, Mennonites have traditionally taken the commandment literally, and many churches hold services dedicated to the spreading of humility and foot fungi. In preparation for the monthly event, area woman Anne Esau loaded up on fungal cream at a local grocery store.
“I tried Shoppers Drug Mart but all the other ladies from the church go there, so they sell out days before the foot washing service,” said Esau. “Luckily for me Superstore had some left, so I cleaned them all out of the stuff.”
Although participants are usually divided by gender, congregations feel that sharing the same bowl of tepid water with each person contributes to the creation of a servant attitude and engenders a strong sense of community. However, only the most holy and devout of parishioners dare to go at the end of the line.
“By the time three or four men have taken off their dress socks and dipped their feet in there, the water is a veritable witches’ brew of disgusting foot conditions,” explained the pastor. “As a church, we want to carry each other’s burdens, and this includes Mr. Loewen’s nasty rash.”
Mrs. Esau said she washes her feet ahead of time and hopes the rest of the congregation would follow her example.
“I wish everyone would pre-wash,” she said, “but I think some of them believe that the dirtier their feet are, the better the experience is for the washer. I once spent a full hour in there with a pumice stone trying to get rid of Elma Wiebe’s corn. It wasn’t easy, but I must admit it was quite the bonding experience.”
(Photo Credit: by Johnragai-Moment Catcher/CC)