This past June, my team and I got to serve with the Haiti Awake family. One of the goals of our team was to paint the Tap-Tap, their transportation bus. We gathered our paints and recruited Haiti Awake’s finest artists! We rolled, brushed, and smoothed layers of fresh white paint over the brick colored walls of the Tap-Tap. The kids really enjoy getting to show off their creative side as they helped make the Tap-Tap beautiful. Within an hour, the Tap-Tap had been given a clean and shiny makeover.
Since we were adding more design and color the next day, it was important to not let the brushes stiffen. While attempting to clean brushes with Idelmy and Cesnel, my hands became covered in paint. I made my way to the bathroom to clean my whitewashed hands. I lathered the soap and scrubbed vigorously, but the paint was not coming off.
I gave up on my efforts and made my way back outside to spend time with some of the kids. The paint would wash off eventually, and I did not want to miss a minute of making memories. As I sat down on the floor of the porch, I noticed Widcherline rose from where she was sitting. She came back with a package of baby wipes and called out “Rachelle.” As soon as I looked her way she grabbed my hand and led me to a chair. Widcherline then pulled out a wipe and began working away at my painted hands. I was struck by her heart and willingness to serve. After many wipes and the patient persistence of Widcherline, my hands were completely clean. From my wrists to the crevices of my nails, there was no paint residue to be found.
This moment reminded me of when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. This simple act of a servant is a picture of the Gospel message. It was more than the washing of feet, Jesus wanted the disciples to see how he humbly came so that their sinful hearts could be fully clean. Like the disciples, the Lord draws near to us and calls us by name. He opens our eyes to see the filth of our sin and the separation it creates. We simply cannot get rid of our sin. BUT in his abundant grace, the perfect sacrifice of Jesus brings restoration to the relationship we broke. Faith and repentance allows Jesus Christ to wash us clean, not in our own good works or efforts. It is from an overflow of this love that we can then go be servants for his kingdom’s glory!
This special memory of Widcherline from our trip will always stand out to me as a vivid picture of Jesus’ servant heart.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you should also wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. –John 13:12-16