This morning, I was multitasking a bit. While sitting in my chair finishing a cup of coffee, I was reading my Bible to my left, burping Judah over my right shoulder, and cuddling Micah, who just couldn’t stand to sit somewhere else, on the right arm of the chair. This was doomed to be an impossible balancing act. Sure enough, Judah finally burped. Along with that much-needed burp came an endless stream of slimy spit up that oozed down a long lock of my hair! Micah then fell off the armrest into the floor. Oops…
A little later, as I was washing the mess, I started thinking about my hair. My oldest son, Micah, is quite obsessive about it. He becomes very upset with me if I talk about cutting it, and then to top it off, if I pull it back in a pony tail on a hot day, he gets angry with me exclaiming with downturned eyebrows, “I don’t want you to turn your hair into a ponytail!” Undoubtedly strange behavior, but in 1 Corinthians the Bible says that hair is a woman’s glory. Maybe that explains my son’s reaction.
That incident this morning was brought full circle, by God’s purpose I’m sure, upon reading again this afternoon in the book of John. The Spirit of God stirred within me as the story before me came to life in my mind:
Sounds of jubilee clamored in the air, leaking through the windows into the small town of Bethany as people celebrated Jesus of Nazareth who had brought a beloved man, Lazarus, back from the dead. Disciples gathered near while Martha prepared the meal to honor Jesus. Just then, the sweet fragrance of worship flooded the house, overpowering the aroma of freshly baked bread, tickling the greed of Judas Iscariot. Judas glared at the floor where an entire pint expensive alabaster perfume had just been poured. There kneeling as her hair flowed down was Mary of Bethany gently washing the Savior’s feet in the humblest way possible.
Judas sneered in disapproval, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” But, in this man’s heart, greed flourished and he couldn’t see the real worth of the Savior. Jesus spoke firmly at first, “Leave her alone…It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial…She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me…I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her,” (Matthew 26, John 12).
This all occurred a week before Christ’s body was bruised and bloodied on the cross. Mary, though chastised by those around her who were concerned with matters of this world, lowered herself by cleaning the most humble part of the body, the feet, with the most glorified part of herself, her hair. As she scrubbed away the muck with her hair, Mary laid down her own glory to anoint Christ and glorify him. She brought honor to Christ in this way. Even now as I write, just as Christ foretold, what she did to honor him is being shared because, although it seemed like waste to everyone else, she gave Christ the honor he deserved.
What glory of ours might we lie down at the Savior’s feet?
This is day two of our challenge before Easter. I pray that you keep searching the scriptures in preparation for Good Friday. I can’t wait to hear and see what God has shown you!