Glory Revealed

There is singing as we slip in the back. We’re late, which is normal for evening services. The cows can only be milked so fast and we can only start so early.

The congregation is singing, “Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior…”

Our bench soon fills with other farmers, also late with still-damp hair. We share a smile over our hymnals.

The pastor stands and words fill the sanctuary. “Jesus, on His last day…” And the tale repeats. The story of our redemption. The God who took our sin and our shame and our everything onto Himself. The man who had no sin, who became sin for us. So that despite our sin we could become the righteousness of God.

Then we’re walking the long aisle to the front, tipping back the cup, tearing off a piece of the bread. Remembering Him, poured out and broken. His blood, His body, His all.

glory revealed

We’re walking back when I’m reminded of the rest of the story. I’ve attended this church for years and still I forget. It’s not just the sacrifice that is remembered, but the command to serve as well. Jesus served His disciples by washing their feet and this body of Believers still practice this today.

The men and women separate and I’m pressed to my side. The men descend to the basement and the women climb the steps. They take turns kneeling in front of each other. Shoes slip off feet. Hands dip into basins. Water splashes and towels dry.

My cheeks burn. I’m a farmer’s wife. I haven’t had a pedicure. My toenails are ragged. I’m not careful when I shave. My right foot has a bruise in the shape of a cow’s hoof.

The other women, their feet don’t bother me, but mine?–I want to keep them hidden in shoes. Perhaps I can slip out the back?

I wish to be lovely and feminine, but my feet are dirty and broken. Why does it feel like in revealing my feet, I’d be revealing myself? Shame claws at me.

I’m caught in the crowd, moving forward even as I wish for escape.

Ahead, a grandmother kneels in front of a friend. Tears drip into the basin. The sobs echo down the hall. Later I know the whole story. How the last time she washed feet was with the granddaughter who was buried before Christmas.

Splintered brokenness.

Hearts shattering. Pouring out.

“I’ll wash your feet.” The voice causes my head to lift and I see another farmer’s wife. She leads me in and seats me. My shoes are off. My feet dipped. Rough, work-worn hands sprinkle water on my rough, work-worn feet.

I’m humbled.

His voice fills the room, fills my mind. “Why do you wish to hide your brokenness? Remember it, child, just as you remember mine.”

I stifle a laugh as the farmer-wife tries to scrub off the bruise that darkens my foot. She realizes that it is not a patch of dirt and her hands gentle. My feet are wrapped in towels and rubbed dry. I reach for my shoes and slip them on as I stand. “Thank you,” I whisper and she wraps me in a hug.

His voice comes again, “For in brokenness, my glory is revealed.”

We’ve all heard the stories about God bringing victory out of defeat, how He built an army out of dry bones, how His death brought us life. But let us also remember that in brokenness, only in brokenness–His beautiful, heart-wrenching, brokenness–are we truly made whole.

mom-shape-son

How Moms Shape Their Son’s View Of Women

Little arms wrap around my waist as my young son hugs me from the side. I’m busy changing his baby brother’s diaper, so I hardly pause to ruffle his hair. “You’re beautiful, Mommy,” he suddenly says. That ... (Read More)

letter-undocumented-mother-clear

A Letter to the Undocumented Mother

by Charlotte Gray Hey you, Yes, you, the one who is a mother without documentation to prove it. The one who has given mother-love to those who didn't come from your body. The one who wipes snotty noses at ... (Read More)

God's grace in the midst of postpartum depression

When Motherhood is Dark

For the third time in twenty minutes, I crept into the bedroom where my tiny son was napping. I stared at him, dark lashes against soft cheeks, little rosebud lips, petite fingers curled into a fist. Was he ... (Read More)

right on red

Right on Red: a Story of Fear and Faith

Though I took driver's ed when I was sixteen, I didn't actually start driving until I was eighteen. By the time I was nineteen, I was driving myself to work and to social events, but every time I got behind the ... (Read More)

makeyourbed

When We Must Turn Around

Aeneas, a paralyzed man, lived in Lydda. For eight long years, he was bedridden. Eight years. That's twice as long as I spent seeking publication. Twice as many years as I spent in college (or four times as long, ... (Read More)

hopecourage

Hope Gave Me Courage

We could hear the engine from our driveway. The big yellow school bus was headed towards our house. I remember standing there, watching it come closer. Though we had talked through getting on the bus many times, ... (Read More)

RSS What’s new at Adornabelle?

  • How to Choose the Right Bra
    It seems like it it shouldn’t be a big deal. I mean, how hard can buying a simple little undergarment like a bra be? But the truth is, buying a bra is anything but simple. And if you’ve ever stood in the lingerie department, facing the endless racks of bras and felt a bit of panic […]