After six years in Egypt, I still had to think about who I was greeting. Was she Syrian, Lebanese, Sudanese? If she was Egyptian, was she from Cairo or from the south? Why did this matter? Because, when we greeted one another, it would be with a kiss; and it was never just one kiss, but two or three or four. And where someone was from dictated how many kisses I should expect, and be prepared to return, our hands clasped between us, our kisses brushing one another’s cheeks.
Perhaps the kisses the unnamed woman placed on Jesus’ feet were the ancestor of these kisses. A recognition of connection. An intimate gesture, and, yet, an ordinary one made extraordinary because she kissed not a cheek, but Jesus’ feet.
She craved connection, and so she came to the house that day. She knelt down before his dirty feet, anointing them with her tears, drying them with her hair. He recognized in her kisses the connection that they shared, as humans created in God’s image.
In those kisses in Egypt—two or three or four—we recognized in one another dignity, worth. No longer strangers, but companions on the journey.
God of relationship, we give you thanks for the many ways you join us to one another. May the kisses we share be kisses that connect and honor, pointing the way toward recognition of your image in one another. Amen.
Kristen Fryer, 2005, LCM Supporter, Former Board Member
She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment.Luke 7:38