Friday, April 19, 2019


We got the dirt yesterday. I got it on multiple fronts.

All of us had the opportunity to absorb the full impact of the Mueller Report. Trump’s hand-picked Attorney General William Barr described this process a few week ago as a complete exoneration of the President. After having perused Mueller’s actual report and noted that there are still 20 ongoing, active investigations, I think it’s safe to say that this is an exoneration in the same way that the Nuremberg Trials were an exoneration of the Nazi regime.

I saw a theoretically well-intentioned Christian pastor and Trump supporter write this off yesterday as an attack of Satan, who wants to distract us from all the good stuff of Holy Week, as if betrayal and the projection of a false public image (Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss) weren’t at the very heart of Holy Week.

On the work front, I’ve been asked to present a nicely and falsely scrubbed image as well. I write for my daily bread, and I’ve been asked to write about monetary and tax implications of certain events that, shall we say, stretch reality. In short, I’ve been asked to lie. I’m not going to do it. We all have these choices to make, and we all face the consequences of what we do or fail to do.

Meanwhile, this unholy week proceeds apace. Last night at church we washed each other’s feet. For real. There was nothing symbolic about it. There were no false images.  Just dirty, smelly feet, probably a bit like the ones Jesus encountered at the Last Supper, although arguably a little cleaner because the participants came into the proceedings wearing Oxfords and Michael Jordan sneakers. It was distasteful, menial work, just as it was 2,000 years ago; the kind of thing relegated to servants and underlings back in the day.

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 also should 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. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.””

So call me blessed. Truly. The feet I washed happened to be attached to my wife. I’ve played with them before, as one does, I suppose. But I’ve never washed them before. And something holy was going on. I am called to love and serve God, but above all else this is the human being I am called to love and serve. Remember. Remember. And so I did. I remembered my marriage vows, and I remembered that I live in a stolen, deeply compromised land, and I remembered that compromise is ever-present. You have to choose what and whom you will serve. It was a good and holy and hard time. To quote the ancient sage Paul Simon, it’s all right, it’s all right; I’m just weary to my bones.

Here I stand, on my dirty feet. Lord, have mercy.

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