ME: Who am I?
GOD: Marina: Sea Harbor ~ one who leads people to the living waters
ME: What does that even mean? (rolls eyes)
GOD: Allow me to show you.It was my first day in the indigenous community, and the sun was shining. Eager to start saving the world one people group at a time, we launched the day going home to home, simply spending time with the locals.
The first home we went to was a relative of one of the translators. It was an open space behind a closed gate made completely out of concrete. Half the home lacked a ceiling, and there were things scattered everywhere. I took it all in as the gracious hosts quickly pulled up plastic lawn chairs for us. We settled in and proceeded with small talk, inquiring of their culture and their life.
Come to find out, the couple only spent two weeks in their home. The rest of their time had been in Mexico City, making money in order to provide for their family. The local economy was slow and there was little ‘honest’ money to be made; integrity was low and most locals had little to spend to stimulate the economy.
I noticed the wife dressed in an embroidered colorful dress suitable for royalty, though the place was more desolate than a palace. Hesitant, I asked why do the local woman dress the way they do. Her eyes lit up at my question. She proceeded to explain the history behind the tradition and how each dress is handmade, often times taking up to a year to make and costing near 1,000 US dollars. I was hungry to know more…or maybe I was just hungry...either way, she hurried off mid conversation and came back with a dress similar to hers.
She urged me to try it on, and we laughed, took pictures, and marveled at the intricate designs. I couldn’t believe how much fun I was having despite shedding all my usual comforts: i.e. makeup, showers, and meals consisting of anything other than tortillas and hotsauce. After playing dress up, the husband told us about his mother who was ill and asked if we would go with them to visit her. Having no other agenda for the day we agreed.
We crossed the street and entered through another gate into a similar home. There were numerous families living in the house. He quickly identified his mother as more plastic lawn chairs were brought out for all to sit on. They explained her condition, and we asked if we could pray for her. We all laid hands on her and proceeded to pray out loud. However, something felt off so I stopped and readjusted my heart. I whispered, “Father, give me Your heart for her; I don’t want another empty prayer just to hear myself speak.”
I sat silently for a moment when I felt God tell me to look down. I did and noticed I was holding her hands. He then whispered back, “Tell her that it is not you holding her hands but I am. You are My hands and feet.” As the words proceeded from my mouth, I felt an overwhelming heartbreak for her. I told her how much she was loved as she just stared blankly at me.
How did she not see what I was feeling for her in that moment . . . how Jesus felt about her every moment of every day? How could I show her? With the revelation that I was Jesus’ hands and feet, I asked Him what He wanted to do. “Wash her feet,” came the reply.
And just like that any excitement I had felt before vanished. "Ah, Jesus, You do realize these people rarely shower and often walk barefoot, and what if I get some kind of disease and die in Mexico.”
“Wash her feet,” came the reply again.
I couldn’t believe it, I felt anxious, nervous even. My heart beat faster than an olympic runner chasing after the gold metal. These people already thought I was a weird gringo and now this. "Really Jesus, can’t I just pray for her with my hand comfortably resting on her shoulder?"
“Good try, Marina, but no,” He said. “You are my hands and feet, and I want to wash her feet.”
Then it hit me: the King of Kings, the One who props His own feet on top of the earth, the One who can make a pancake out of the earth by stepping on it wants to come down and wash someone’s feet. How could I say no? How could I be so selfish when He was so selfless? So amidst all the questions within, I Nike-Just did it!
I looked up from the ground and directed my gaze at the translator. He noticed I was uneasy and asked, “What’s up?” I urged him to ask the woman if it was ok for me to wash her feet? He did and everyone stopped and stared at me. If I was uncomfortable before, I then reached my peak. After some hesitation and weird glares, she said yes.
A bucket of water was brought for me. I took her shoes off and the heartbreak instantly came back. I wept and prayed for her as I poured warm water over her feet. I didn’t notice how dirty or smelly her feet were. I even found myself massaging them. I couldn’t believe it! There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as I finished up and told her that the Lord not only wants to cleanse her externally but also wash her sins away and clean her heart of all the pain that has settled in.
It took me some time to process what happened, but the Lord clearly spoke to me that leadership is not about being served but serving others. It’s not about how I feel but how I make others feel. It’s not about me; it’s about love.
He didn’t want me to go into the world with a superior mindset that I was somehow better, and these poor people needed me. These were my brothers and sisters, and I was merely there to help them discover their identity in love. My knowledge wasn’t going to convince them into the family; I could only love them by serving, and through that love they would see Jesus and desire to know Him for themselves. That right there is how I would lead others to the living water.
Guest Author ~ Marina Moroz, a recent YWAM Tyler DTS graduate
4 times a year YWAM Tyler offers Discipleship Training Schools where you can discover truths about God and His character that will shape you as a person and a leader. It's not too late to sign up for the next training school. You won't regret it!