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The Beauty of Ugly Feet and Toenails. . .

Most people don’t put “feet” and “beautiful” in the same stream of thought.  Generally speaking, feet get a bad rap, and are more often associated with stinky socks, smelly sneakers, the aroma of the boy’s high school locker room on a Friday afternoon in May, sweaty ickyness, cold clamminess, or toenails.  And let’s face it toenails and the rest of that stuff are NOT beautiful unless you’re a troll, or Oscar the Grouch.

But as is often the case, God doesn’t always see things in the same way that we do.  On at least two different occasions in the Bible (Romans 10:15, and Isaiah 52:7), feet are described as beautiful.  They’re described that way because they transport the people who bring good news.  When I was a soldier training at Fort Sam Houston, TX, there was a truck that rolled around the post.  We called it the roach coach.  There was really nothing beautiful about the appearance of that truck. But whenever I saw it, I had a good feeling.  It was full of cold drinks, snacks and a variety of goodies. It wouldn’t have mattered if the truck looked like a train wreck in a wet chicken coup, its appearance wasn’t important. Its contents were, and because of that, I saw it as attractive.

Notice that in those feet verses the focus isn’t so much on what God sees as beautiful (although I think he does see those feet as beautiful) but rather on what the recipients of their messages see.  Feet that normally appeared ugly, now appeared beautiful because they brought the best news possible – that people could be friends and children of God once again. When you are outside the will of God, and when you are not friends with the person who sustains all life, you are in a desperate place.

Interestingly, these messengers were in a win-win situation.  God considered them beautiful for their obedience to the Gospel, and their fellow man considered them beautiful for playing a part in their rescue and restoration.  And even more beautiful than all of this, is that you can be just as beautiful as they were when you take the message to those people who haven’t yet received it.  When they do receive it, you too, will be beauty in their life! So no matter how ugly you think your feet are, they can be among the most beautiful objects in the world to the people you touch with the gospel!

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