Wed, Mar 23, 2016 - Page 10 News List

The foot-washing ritual
曉明女中洗腳禮

Teachers in Stella Matutina Girls’ High School in Taichung wash their students’ feet on Thursday last week.
台中曉明女中師長上週四為學生洗腳。

Photo: Su Meng-chuan, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報蘇孟娟

After the Last Supper, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, leaving behind him a paradigm of service. On Thursday last week, Stella Matutina Girls’ High School in Taichung also performed the rite of foot washing, during which Principal Chu Nan-tzu and a dozen teachers washed some students’ feet.

Chu said that the feet are the lowliest part of the body and the one that most easily gets dirty. Both washing other people’s feet and letting others wash yours take considerable courage. Just as it may be difficult for a person to bow down and kneel to wash someone else’s feet, the person receiving the service may also be worried about his own smell, the ugliness of his feet, itches, athlete’s foot and so on. It is a challenge for both the service provider and the receiver. Hence people can learn through the foot-washing service that providing a service is a humble job that requires extraordinary benevolence and love. A person who provides service with love will not think about his identity or his own needs and rights, but only the needs of others.

During the foot-washing ritual, most students felt embarrassed to have their feet washed by their teachers. The teachers washed the students’ feet attentively with clean water and then dried them. Some teachers considerately asked the students whether the water temperature was comfortable for them or encouraged them to study diligently.

Chen Chun-chin, president of the students’ union, received the foot-washing service from Chu and then provided the same service to her classmates. Chen said that, in comparison, washing other people’s feet was easier than letting others wash hers. Washing others’ feet was pure giving, whereas letting others wash hers had a lot to do with receiving. Initially, she felt very awkward about letting the principal wash her feet, since, after all, the principal is an elder as well as head of the school. However, when she saw the principal kneeling down before her, washing her feet and rubbing them, she felt embarrassed yet also enchanted. She really felt from the bottom of her heart that she wanted to emulate her teachers’ act of bowing down and serving with humility.

(Liberty Times, translated by Ethan Zhan)

耶穌在最後晚餐後為門徒洗腳,留下服務的典範,台中曉明女中上週四也辦「洗腳禮」,由校長朱南子等十餘名師長親自替學生洗腳。

朱南子說,腳是最卑微、最易弄髒的部位,不論為人洗腳或被洗腳,都需要有很大的勇氣。彎下腰、俯下身,為人洗腳,固然不易,被洗腳的人也會擔心自己腳臭、腳醜、腳癢、有香港腳等。對雙方來說,都非常不容易。因此,希望藉著洗腳禮,體會到服務是謙虛的,是需要極大的善意與愛。在愛中的服務,不會考慮自己的身份、自己的需要、自己的權利,只想到對方的需要。

洗腳禮進行時,多數學生面對師長幫洗腳都顯得靦腆。老師們則細心地幫學生用清水洗滌腳部,再仔細擦乾,有的老師還貼心地詢問學生水溫等舒適度,或是不忘勉勵學生好好加油。

自治會長陳淳蓁接受校長朱南子洗腳後幫同學洗腳。她說,兩者相較,幫人洗腳遠比接受別人洗腳容易。幫助別人只是純粹的付出,但被別人洗腳則承受較多。原本她對於是否接受校長洗腳一事十分糾結,畢竟校長是長輩又是一校之長,然而看到校長蹲在自己眼前,幫自己洗腳又擦腳的過程,感覺既不好意思卻又很奇妙,真的有從心底冒出要學習師長彎下腰、謙卑服務的想法。

〔自由時報記者蘇孟娟/台中報導〕

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top