Mary: A True Love Story

Mary’s Love for Jesus Poured Out
Mark 14:3-9 (see also Matt. 26:6–13; John 12:1–8 ) NKJV

And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply. But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

Picture yourself as one of Jesus’ disciples. You’re sitting around a friend’s house for a meal, and a woman you know, Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, comes in. Without saying a word, she stands before Jesus, takes out a very expensive bottle of perfumed oil, breaks it open, and pours the entire bottle over Jesus’ head. What goes through your mind?

Most of Jesus’ disciples were men, that may be why they looked at the situation from a common sense point of view. They just heard Jesus tell the rich man to sell everything and give the money to the poor, and here Mary has just wasted a year’s worth of wages by pouring it over Jesus’ head. It’s no wonder that they berated her for such an action. Think how much that could have done for the poor! Isn’t this what Jesus was going to tell her?

But they were wrong. Jesus always looks at our heart. And He could see she was focused solely on Him and what she could do for Him. He could see her need to show Him her love. Jesus knew she was doing this because she believed every word He said about His upcoming death, that He was dying for them, and she had a deep need to thank Him.

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Everything to Everybody (or We’re All Superwomen, Right?)

When I started this blog, the idea was to post three to five times a week. Hubby thought that was a tad ambitious, but I said I wanted it to be alive and consistent. Well, consistency has never been one of my strong suits, and here it’s been a week with no posts at all.

Remember my mom? Being about as coordinated as I am, she tripped over her ottoman and broke her wrist. So for the past couple of weeks, especially last week, I’ve been playing chauffeur, nurse, helper, maid, etc. to my mom.

She has kept me very busy.

That’s what kids are for, right? …to take care of their parents in their old age? I think I read that somewhere. And I hope when it’s my turn to be the one who needs help, my kids will happily and not begrudgingly do the same for me.

Really, I don’t mind that much. We have fun. I mean, I’d run her all over the city three days a week, and relax and love the weekends with Hubby and the kids and pets…if the house and laundry and bills and everything else magically kept themselves up.

But they don’t. I have to find a way to do everything and be everything to everyone who needs me. (Cue the laughter/big sigh/guffaw/head shake/etc. of all those who read this and feel the same way, at the same time knowing it’s impossible, and that we should just cut ourselves some slack.)

I love being with people, and I love to help people, but I also LOVE to be alone. I can’t get any work done if other people are here. I’m too easily distracted. I have to be alone and in the zone. I’m a Mary who loves to just hang out, but with a Martha in my head making me feel guilty for all the work that’s not getting done while I’m being social. (Luke 10:38-42)

Jesus says, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” but I often wonder, if Martha had sat at Jesus’ feet instead of cooking, and in a little while everyone was hungry…what then? They couldn’t call for pizza delivery.

I’m guessing Martha was a perfectionist (and a bit of a martyr) and Jesus was telling her to get her priorities in order, not to be so consumed with making everything perfect to exclusion of fellowship with those around her. The keyword is “Balance”.

Balance sounds good, but my gears take a real long time to shift. Hubby tells me I should do a little of this and a little of that every day. I can see where he’s right, but I don’t operate that way. It takes me so long to get started on anything that once I do, I don’t want to stop. But I’m working on this balance thing.

So here I am, on one of the two days I have by myself at home this week, and I’m putting on the blinders and not seeing the mess to do some writing. And then the plan is to do some cleaning. And some laundry. And some organizing. And some ironing. And some…well, you get my drift.

I need a clone.