HOW long are your feet? That may seem a silly question but it has often been considered a mark of beauty for a woman to have as small feet as possible. Once upon a time in China it used to be the custom to bind the feet very tightly from babyhood onwards. In that way it was possible for a grown woman to keep her feet only five inches long! Up till a few months ago it was the fashion for girls to do just the opposite. The longer the foot and the thinner the point of the toe. the better.
Strange ideas Unfortunately this wasn't a very good idea because every time you banged your shoe or had to walk upstairs you had to buy a new pair. But during the Middle Ages long even these lo shoes would have . been thought "square" Then it was possible to have a shoe with points two foot long! So long in fact that they had to be curled upwards and tied to the knee with gold chains in order to walk at all. In the end laws had to he passed in order to stop the whole thing getting too ridiculous.
Out of shape ent styles that can sometimes look so elegant is that the feet can often get pushed out of shape. I have seen photographs of feet where the toes had actually grown crossed over because they had been so crushed. You can be quite sure that the price of being elegant for a few months is too high when it means the rest of one's life will be spent with painful feet. I hope that no one reading Children's Corner has high heels and long pointed toes.
Remember this the younger you are the more easily your feet can be pushed out of shape. So always make sure that your shoes fit comfortably— not just lengthways but sideways too. Never wear other people's shoes, and check your own from time to time. If you find that one side is getting worn more than the other, or that the shoe is getting out of shape, then something's wrong somewhere and it's better to look now than to be sorry later.
Off with the shoes We don't take off our shoes in church, but Mohammedans do when they enter their mosques. and you l remember that God commanded Moses to take off his shoes as he approached the burning bush, since he was standing on holy ground.
Can you think of any other occasions in the Bible where feet are mentioned especially?
The most famous one 1 think is where Our Lord washes the feet of the disciples, giving an example of humility. We copy the lesson he taught in the ceremonies on Maundy Thursday.
Mary Magdalene With the feast of Mary Magdalene this Saturday. we may remember that it is supposed to be she who annointed Christ's feet with scented oitments. Unfortunately it is difficult in the Gospels to decide always which stories are about Mary Magdalene and which are not. But one story that is very lovely (Luke VII) is
about a woman who has been a great sinner. A righteous Pharisee was rather snooty about Jesus having anything to do with such a person. But Jesus said that many sins had been forgiven her because of her love. In the end it was the Pharisees who crucified Jesus, and Mary Magdalene who stood by Him during His Passion.