Dec 21: Beautiful Feet
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
I have climbed to the top of exactly one mountain: Mt. Sinai in Egypt. The pilgrim/tourist thing to do there is to start hiking in the middle of the night so you reach the summit by sunrise. Our dark trek up Mt. Sinai included the surreal experience of being passed by ghostly camels we couldn’t hear or see coming. Their owners would call out, “Camel, camel, camel?” in case we were weary enough to fork out some coins for a ride. But the hulking camels walked those mountains largely in silence, step after quiet step.
My feet did not feel beautiful on that mountain. They felt tired and sore and really, really cold. What I could see of the silent camel feet was not beautiful, either, for having traversed the mountain day after day with exhausted sightseers on their backs.
The writer of Isaiah 52 is not speaking of the literal beauty of blistered and knotty mountain-walking feet, of course. It is the beauty of the message that is important — the sublime conviction that despite what is seen and heard, despite loss and displacement and violence and grief and anger, there is One who still reigns. That One’s reign of joy and justice is on its way, and it will stretch even unto the ends of the earth.
But there is something beautiful about the feet of the messengers on the mountains, the bearers of news so good they will put one dusty foot in front of the other for miles and miles to share it. Tired feet, cold feet, maybe even ghostly quiet feet trod in the dark to deliver the message that it is right to hope. And the message keeps the feet going. The news is so good that disorientation and weariness and fear, while real, are not enough to stop the feet — the beautiful feet, step by trembling step, bringing the good news: yes, it is right to hope.
Rev. Aimee Moiso
SFTS M.Div. 2006