Essence Atkins at 50: Her Journey of Faith & Washing Stranger’s Feet for Sisterhood

Essence Atkins at 50: Her Journey of Faith & Washing Stranger’s Feet for Sisterhood

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 03: Actress Essence Atkins arrives at the premiere of Open Road Films’ “A Haunted House” at the Arclight Theatre on January 3, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Longtime actress Essence Atkins has practically grown up on-screen in front of us. From episodes on The Cosby Show when she was a pre-teen, to the sitcom Half & Half with Rachel True and shows like Marlon with Marlon Wayans to movies and stage plays–you’ve seen her everywhere. Lately, she’s been sharing her personal journey of faith.

One of her encounters that strengthened her faith can be seen in the Urban Movie Channel (UMC) original docuseries “Behind Her Faith” which highlights four women at the top of their careers and takes a deep look at their personal journeys of faith

“I had no idea that Christ and the relationship is personal. It’s not somewhere up there, it’s personal,” she stressed. “It’s in the lion’s den with you. It is in the fire. It’s not like, ‘Oh, I’m up here and I’m just hovering and I’m just bestowing,’ and it’s not fairy dust.”

Atkins concluded her testimony by saying: “God is with you. He’s right there with you through it all, every second of every moment of every day through everything. And there’s no mistake that you can’t recover from. There’s no sin that makes Him love you less. That was just an astounding practical moment for me.”

But this is not the first time Atkins has made her faith public. While promoting her stage play, “Things Your Man Won’t Do,” at an Atlanta radio station, the “Are We There Yet” TV actress kneeled down, directly in front of a seated stranger, Allison Person, and began rolling her sleeves up. Initially a skit about something one’s significant other wouldn’t do, Atkins turned that moment into a moving gesture where she taught by example.

“This wasn’t planned for me to do this, but sisters, it’s important that we love on each other,” a clearly choked up Atkins began to say. “I know I just met you today but I know the road that you walk.”

“I want you to know that I got you.
That I support you.
And I love you,” Atkins said.
“And if we don’t give that to each other y’all we are lost. We will never be what we can be.”

To many, Atkins was just reiterating what many Black women think. In a recent survey, a whopping 78% of Black Women said that they get along better with males instead of other women. Some noted reasons why were jealousy, intimidated, and misconceptions from other women that they’ve experienced in the past.

But Atkins continued, “I get down her like how Jesus did and I give to you. I thank you for your strength. Thank you for your tenacity, for your integrity, for your intelligence…”

Really, the only other time you heard about someone washing another’s feet was probably in the Bible. Some religious groups still do it today in religious ceremonies, but it originated in the bible. Jesus did it in 1 John chapters 13 through 17. There, the scene describes Jesus washing the feet of his disciples–those who were following Him, not the other way around. Historians say footwashing was something wives did for their husbands, children for their parents, and disciples for their teachers. Because of the rough terrain and kind of open-toed sandals/simple shoes they wore, dirt, sores and calluses would be on a person’s feet. So washing them was a very intimate gesture. It would have been appropriate for one of the disciples to have washed Jesus’ feet, but the reverse was intolerable during that time period.

BibleGateway.com describes the act as “Jesus showing his disciples the full extent of hHs love. By washing the feet of those who serve Him and who will later betray Him, Jesus showed his Father, God’s love.”

Source & Credit: blackdoctor.org

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