Beautiful Feet: Taking Steps of Obedience
How do you use your “beautiful feet”?
by Jessica Leep Fick
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
If you ask me at any given moment, “What’s on your mind?” I will likely respond with a swirl of ideas of big things I could do to help others meet Jesus, live out my faith in practical ways, and mobilize others to do the same thing. When I take my sons to the beach in the summer I dream about organizing beach cleanups on Lake Erie to care for my beloved Great Lakes. In the spring, seeing all the kids walk home from school, I picture our neighborhood running summer art camps for at-risk kids in the area. When I walk to CVS to pick up my prescriptions, I see abandoned storefronts and imagine Christian business owners starting bakeries that employ jobless people. (Also, then I could have delicious freshly baked blueberry scones available in my neighborhood every day.) I see moms who seem lonely and disconnected as they push their kids on the swings at the playground, and I imagine what life would be like for them if they came to my MOPS group, and what it would be like if my mom friends did the same thing. I see the dumpsters behind grocery stores and think, “How many families wouldn’t have to go hungry if all the waste from grocery stores and restaurants was donated to the Cleveland Food Bank?”
The problem for me isn’t the lack of ideas; the problem is discerning how Jesus wants me to use my beautiful feet to bring his good news in my relationships, community and world. It’s easy for me to want to do something cool for Jesus, to fix a problem I see or to get frustrated and ignore the people and problems, hoping someone else does something about it. When I spend time with Jesus, he helps me discover that I’m wired to love him and love others, and he wants to do the same in each of our lives. Sometimes loving others involves doing something effortless; other times it makes us uncomfortable and stretches us in our skills and capacity to love. Both of these dynamics are part of the paradox of how Jesus wants us to love others. He invites us to be comfortably uncomfortable in loving others—to do what we enjoy yet take risks to trust him in new ways. As we experiment in connecting with Jesus and others, he directs us in the best ways to use our beautiful feet to bring his good news.
It can feel overwhelming, confusing and immobilizing to think about the needs in our communities and world and to figure out how God wants to use us to care for others. Fortunately, being comfortably uncomfortable often starts in small ways, by taking steps of obedience to trust Jesus and love others. The challenge lies in believing that our efforts are enough to care for a lost and hurting world and that we are enough for God to use to love others.
Jessica Leep Fick is a writer and evangelist for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, preaching, teaching and doing evangelism training at conferences, churches and campus groups across the country. She loves to help believers have fun with Jesus in his mission and talk with people who don’t follow Jesus about their spiritual questions.