Tired, Dirty, Beautiful Feet

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! – Isaiah 52:7

No one I know has legitimately pretty feet – except infants, about whom everything is cute.



I try to pretty up my own by putting polish on my toenails, but despite my best efforts, my wide, sturdy feet will never be all that attractive (perhaps to a hobbit?).

But at least my feet are in shoes most of the time. Only my family has to look at them!

At the time of Christ, however, everyone saw everyone else’s sandaled or bare feet all the time. Because most people walked wherever they went, their feet must have been perpetually grimy and calloused.

Imagine being the lucky servant whose job it was to wash guests’ sweaty, stinky, dirty feet!

Beautiful feet must have been quite the exception to the rule.

Though I’ve read the above verse many times, it didn’t occur to me until today why the metaphor would have impacted readers of ancient times.

How could anyone, particularly a person climbing a mountain – with dusty, swollen, blistered feet – have beautiful feet?



I believe Paul explains it well, as he elaborates on the Isaiah passage, in the book of Romans.

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! – Romans 10:14, 15

Whatever the physical appearance of our feet, God finds them beautiful if our feet are carrying us forward with his message, on his mission.

According to biblehub.com, the Hebrew word for beautiful is defined as “to be at home, pleasant, beautiful.” Shouldn’t we be willing to be “at home” wherever God leads, so that we can share the gospel wherever people need to hear it?

As for me, I strive to feel more “at home” – comfortable with witnessing – pretty much wherever I go: the grocery store, the gas station, a restaurant. My daughter’s “at home” places are completely different, as she feels that God is calling her to be a missionary. My husband is the chaplain for our city fire department, and he is called to be “at home” in all kinds of circumstances.

In any case, we should all strive for feet that God will find beautiful: comfortable with carrying the message of salvation, willing to go wherever he should send us.

Do you have Biblically beautiful feet? Have you witnessed to someone recently? I’d love to read about it in the comments.

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18 thoughts on “Tired, Dirty, Beautiful Feet”

  1. I love being with people and finding those spaces into which Jesus can be interjected. Just recently I took a friend to dinner and the conversation turned to the desperation of the world. A perfect place for the word of God incarnate to be interjected

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a humanitarian public service, I always keep my feet covered unless I’m on the beach somewhere 🙂 ! But at the same time, believers are called to be the active hands, feet, eyes, ears and voice of Christ on Earth, so that others can see the face of Christ in us, and we in them. And those divine moments when we get the chance to witness are indeed beautiful. — Mike

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for this beautiful post!
    I clicked through to bible hub using the link you provided. I was thinking, what does home have to do with pleasant and beautiful? A couple of scenes from my past flashed into my mind, memories of having been away from home for awhile and how good (pleasant, beautiful) it felt to be back! I thought maybe we could also consider the beauty from the point of view of the person receiving the good news, for it would feel like the messenger was bringing him/her that pleasant feeling of coming home.
    May the Lord help us all be better messengers of God news!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this. The Bible does say be the lamp unto my feet. We’re asking God to walk us into freedom—-Salvation. We need not worry about the physical attributes, but only be aware that God approves of us. He called us beautiful. We are at home with Him.

    Liked by 1 person

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