I love it when I hear a passage of Scripture that is all to familiar and yet hear it in a new way. That happened yesterday during church. Our pastor preached from John 12:1-8, which is the very familiar story of Mary washing Jesus’ feet with her hair. Honestly, when he started preaching I kind of sat back thinking, I’ve heard this story a million times what in the world am I going to hear differently? O brother, when you pray something like that to the Lord what He comes back with is sometimes beyond words!
Three things occurred to me…
One, Mary let down her hair. To me, this is no big deal. To a Jewish woman, in this time, it was a huge deal. It was a significance that showed she was giving her whole body for Him. When a Jewish woman let down her hair, she was offering up her whole self to a man. It signified that she was open and willing to give all to him…to Him.
I do not give all to my Lord. I do not “let my hair down”. I am moving towards that place where I will surely bow down, surely wash his feet…but let down my hair and signify all I am and have is His?
Two, Mary takes her hair and lowers herself even lower to the place that no one in this culture wanted to go. She washes His feet. This is a dirty, smelly and lowly place. And to this dirty place, she offers up something that is worth everything she has (this perfume) and herself. Oh, how much I don’t want to get into the dirty. Not the dirty in my life and certainly not the dirty in others. But, oh how the Lord is leading me so deeply into the grime of others. Through their fears, mourning’s, trials etc. All these places that I don’t know how to relate. But all He is asking me is to lower myself and wash. Nothing more. Not solve. Not offer of any words. Just be there.
Three, Mary then carries around this dirt and grime in her hair, but also the sent of this amazing perfume. The sent of this gift that she has offered, He has accepted and blessed. Don’t you think she walked around with an amazing glow about her? Not even paying attention to the dust or the beautiful smell, but rather was overtaken with this amazing act of worship that she had been led to give.
Riches I heed not…
Nor man’s empty praise
Thou mine inheritance
Thou and thou only
my treasure thou art
Lord, that I would long for nothing more than to give all I have
lower myself to your feet
and see it as nothing but a treasure.
91. old words in a fresh light
92. the Gospel preached
93. getting to know new neighbors
94. eating outside in this new spring
95. the humming of hymns by a little boy
96. the strains of song by a little girl
97. children screaming loudly in church “amen, thanks be to God”
98. a wildly bright moon on a camping night
99. getting back into routines
100. seeing the Lord’s hand