There are 206 bones in the human body. The human foot has 26. I imagine that God knew we needed the extra support. Our feet do a lot of walking over the course of our lives. The average moderately active person takes around 7,500 steps a day. If you maintain that daily average and live until 80 years of age, you’ll have walked about 216,262,500 steps in your lifetime. Doing the math, the average person with the average stride living until 80 will walk a distance of around 110,000 miles.
With that amount of walking it is common then to have one’s feet hurt and smell. Some feet are described as ugly while other people may be said to have pretty feet. In fact, if you have nice enough feet you can be paid as a foot model. A foot model is a person who models footwear which can include accessories such as shoes, socks, jewelry and other related items.
In the book of the prophet Isaiah, we read about beautiful feet. Isaiah 52:7 reads,
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.’
The people of Israel found their feet stuck in what is known as the Babylon captivity. For 70 years their feet would be found in foreign territory. Now a messenger was coming to announce the good news of their liberation from this captivity. The people would soon be going home. So, for Isaiah and the people this messenger had beautiful feet.
As followers of Jesus we too are called to have beautiful feet. As Christians we carry the good news of God’s love and grace with us wherever our feet take us. As a result, our lives should bear witness to the kind of love that Jesus lived as he walked this earth: compassion, kindness, acceptance, justice, and peace. Jesus carried good news with him. However, sometimes as Christians our feet are anything but beautiful as we live lives that walk in the opposite direction of Jesus. We become messengers of, self-righteousness, judgment, and condemnation. Unfortunately, these are the feet that often have the loudest steps in our world. It is no wonder that the world sometimes sees the church as having ugly feet.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” As Christian we should ask ourselves, “what do my feet look like to others? Are my feet walking in the ways of Jesus or something else.”? May our goal be that of the refrain from the 19th century hymn, Footsteps of Jesus:
Footprints of Jesus,
That make the pathway glow;
We will follow the steps of Jesus
Where’er they go.