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.