Yesterday as part of our Seder, we washed everyone's hands in ritual fashion... the 'father' carried the towel, whilst I as 'mother' had the jug and basin. Each person in turn offered their hands for washing... old, gnarled hands, young, smooth hands; white western hands, golden eastern hands, black African hands; hands that are employed in medical practice, hands that make music; hands that are perfect, hands that are damaged; hands offered willingly, hands offered hesitantly... each hand beautiful, made in the likeness of the divine.
Today as part of our children's vigil we had a simplified foot-washing... small children invited to remove their footwear and step through three bowls of water, having a small amount poured over them in the first bowl, before beng dried n a fluffy white towel. Small feet, some white, some black; some boys, some girls; some eager participants, some less certain; some happily waking in the water, some needing to be lifted between the bowls; one managing to overturn the final bowl, another splashing their trousers... each foot lovely, made in the likeness of the divine.
I found it remarkably meaningful to wash these hands and feet... no direct contact, rather a focus on the hands and feet of those participating.
Meanwhile, of course, this being Good Friday, we recall how the hands and feet of the divine were rent by crucifixion nails; how flesh was torn and blood spilled... the hands and feet of the divine in our likeness.
Why three bowls of water, you are wondering - because we had three bowls! Plan A was to use a paddling pool, but despite having two pumps we didn't have the necessary adapter so Plan B was to use wahsing up bowls, and one of my amazing people scoured the local shops to purchase them.