by DanWolgemuth on November 9, 2007

Calloused hands across calloused feet transformed a calloused heart.

This was the pure essence of the story that Scott shared. Last summer, in the classic heat and humidity of New Orleans, a high school strength coach joined a Youth for Christ trip to Louisiana. Doug was tough, inside and out. He looked tough. And although he knew that he was on a YFC trip, his strategy was to stiff-arm any and all interaction about Christ, unless it could contain liberal doses of sarcasm.

That was until his Thursday assignment. On Thursday Doug and Scott (a YFC staff person from Bloomington, IN) were assigned to a team of folks with an agenda of delivering mercy and care firsthand. Specifically, Doug was asked to provide pedicures, while his partner, Scott, did manicures; and they were to do this for an entire day.

There were many assignments that Doug had executed without complaint or assistance. He had the brawn to pull off nearly any physical task he was given, but pedicures?

Homeless men. Unkept women. Inquisitive adolescents. And lines of them waited their turn. Scott and Doug were busy, and wildly popular. Half way through the day Doug looked at Scott and said, “Hey, Scott, didn’t Jesus do something like this? Didn’t He wash peoples feet?”

Of all the potential spiritual intersections in Doug’s life, it was selfless service that propelled him into the direction of Jesus. No slick brochure, no carefully crafted presentation, but the realization that Jesus had stooped to unforeseen levels to demonstrate His love. He washed what others despised.

A week ago I stood at the front of a church sanctuary praying with Doug, we were celebrating what a toenail clipper, a pool of clean water, and a little nail polish had birthed. It had been three months since New Orleans. Three months since the seed of transformation had been planted in the soil of service. Three months since the rigid veneer of self-reliance had been shattered under a neighborhood tent. Service connected Doug to Jesus and the redemptive work began. I admit it, we cried together as we prayed.

No methodology could accomplish what the revealed reality of Jesus sacrificial love could. From pedicures to Jesus.

Calloused heart no longer, to God be the glory.

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