It’s not what you think. For the last two weeks I have been volunteering at the Vancouver Temple open house almost every other day. Most days I am in my element as a tour guide, but every now and then I am assigned to be on booty patrol.
In order to keep our brand new temple looking just as pristine as it was the day we first opened the doors the to the public, our guests are asked to wear white plastic booties over their shoes. Certainly not too much to ask, especially when we provide you with someone to actually put the booty on for you. Simply hold onto the bar, lift your foot, and voila! Ready to walk the floors of the temple (with marble tiles from Spain and carpets hand-woven in China)!
So today was my turn for this glamorous job. For six hours, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., I got to sit in a little chair designed for six year olds, and bent over I got to admire the feet of about a thousand people. Big feet. Small feet. Old feet. Dirty feet. Wooden feet. Yes, in that position, for that many hours, I placed shower cap like plastic bags over the shoes of all of our guests.
At one point one of the ushers came over and asked if we had recently “booted” a Chinese woman and her children (this was during a mad rush of people). We had to apologize and say we didn’t know – unless he could describe what type of shoes they were wearing.
I’ll be honest; at first I wasn’t very thrilled with my assignment. And then I remembered that Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World, had sat in the same position and washed the feet of his apostles. I was sufficiently humbled. My back still hurt, but I continued my labour with a new attitude. These were the feet of my brothers and sisters.
Their reactions were interesting. Most people were very appreciative. Some were surprised that we would perform such a service. A few were embarrassed and almost wouldn’t let us serve them. This made me sad. Sometimes we become so independent that we don’t let others help us and then slowly we stop helping others.
This experience has made me more determined to forget myself and serve others. And so, I am officially on the look out for more booty duty opportunities (or some variation thereof).