“Do you follow Jesus this closely?”
I read the bumper sticker as the car whizzed by me. It was rush hour traffic and I was, as I often am, in a hurry. I laughed to myself at the implication. I hadn’t given the thought provoking bumper sticker much more attention, hadn’t spent any time pondering it until later the following day. It was Friday night, I was tired and weary from a broken world, difficult work week and issues at home that just couldn’t seem to go away. I was doing what I often do, pressing into Jesus and pressing on. The pressing was feeling more and more like crushing. Dinner time was fast approaching and while I wanted desperately to avoid cooking dinner, the gnawing in my stomach and the persistent pleas of my offspring pushed me into the kitchen.
I began the task of preparing spaghetti sauce from a jar and making a salad. I moved about the kitchen and my shadow sat patiently beside me. When I moved, she moved, when I turned she turned, perhaps her motive was innocent and rooted in facts.
I am a clumsy cook. Inevitably I would drop some morsel of something she would make into a snack. Perhaps that is why she sits so closely and so intently. Perhaps it is because she likes to be around me.
I am told when I am not home she looks for me and she will whine in her waiting.
I began to stir the not-so-homemade sauce and I said to my Dapple Doxie Macy, “Are you trying to feel the dust from my feet?”
My feet were in desperate need of a pedicure, they were achy and my nails unpolished. My feet seemed to be a reflection of my very soul. I was remembering something my friend Denise told me several years ago. A story of a rabbi. I can still, in my mind’s eye, see her sitting and recounting the story of the rabbi and his student. She looked like a rabbi herself, a teacher, patient and wise teaching her students.
Way back at the time of Jesus, if a Jewish man wanted to become a disciple of a rabbi (teacher) he was expected to leave his family and his way of life. His job was to follow his rabbi. The teacher and student would live together 24 hours a day—they would walk from place to place, teaching and learning, studying and working. They discussed and memorized the Scriptures and applied them to life.
It was the student’s calling, to “cover himself in the dust of [the rabbi’s] feet,” studying his teacher’s every word, watching his every move. When the rabbi moved, the student moved. When the rabbi stopped his student stopped. If a student followed his rabbi so closely he would “walk in his dust.” In doing so, he became like the rabbi, his master, his teacher.
That evening as dinner was finished up and I was about the business of being mom and wife I was reminded to follow so closely that I am covered by the dust of my own Rabbi, my Jesus. If I will do that, follow Him as closely as Macy follows me, I won’t be nearly as weary and worn, and the blessing of His presence alone would be encouragement and healing to my soul.
A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. Luke 6:40