“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news.” These words come from the Book of Isaiah in the Hebrew Bible and are later echoed in the Christian scriptures as well. Our Soul Matters theme for the month of May is “beauty.” When I think about beauty, images of feet are not the first that come to mind. But then I reflect on the events of the past few days – a leaked Supreme Court ruling that suggests that, for the first time, we are likely to see constitutional rights revoked rather than expanded. I reflect on the events of the past few months – an unprovoked and devastating war brought by Russia against the people of Ukraine. I reflect on the events of the past few years – a pandemic that has killed over 6 million people around the world, 38 thousand of them right here in Illinois.
We could really use some good news right now. But bringing good news to a suffering world means we must get up and get moving. We must do the active work of teaching and preaching, of writing and speaking, of meeting and marching, of stretching and sharing our resources.
If we’re doing the work we are called to, our feet (and hands and hearts and pocketbooks) are probably going to be sore and dirty at the end of most days. Is it any wonder that in ancient cultures, guests were welcomed to a home with foot washing? When we’re going out into the world to do what we are called to do, sore and dirty feet are part of the package.
So the writer of those ancient words – “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news” – was most certainly not picturing a person coming fresh from a pedicure. They were picturing the rough, worn, tired feet of those had taken on a long and difficult journey, proclaiming peace, good tidings, salvation, and the reign of God to a people who had suffered captivity and exile.
May we be such proclaimers today.