I have taken a little break from my journey through the Old Testament to spend some time in the book of John. This morning I read from chapter 12 when Jesus comes to Bethany to visit with Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Mary took a bottle of pure nard, which was an expensive perfume and poured it out over Jesus’ feet. She wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair, and the house was filled with the beautiful fragrance.
Judas was concerned about the monetary value of the perfume. Mary did give a very expensive gift to Jesus- but was it just about the perfume? Mary came to Jesus without abandon. She knelt at his feet and used her hair to clean them. She didn’t seem to care what others thought, and it seems to me that she displayed the deep affection in her heart through this act.
I have been thinking about my own heart. For as long as I can remember, I have kept up strong walls around my heart, allowing very few people to really know me. It is hard for me to get close to people because I fear them leaving, fear disappointing them or having to say goodbye. It was not until I went through training last year that I expressed this to someone, who asked how this played out in my relationship with God. It was the first time I had thought about it, and in different ways I realized I had held God at arm’s length too.
What does it mean to pour out our affection like Mary, to love God without abandon or without strings attached? Last Friday as part of my birthday celebration we went to a special prayer time at the House of Prayer. As the woman who leads it was singing and drawing us into worship, I got a picture of a girl dancing freely in a beautiful meadow. No shame, no holding anything back, but showing pure adoration and love. What would it mean to love The Lord that way? Jesus is teaching me, slowly what it means in my life to give Him my heart, to tear down the walls, to pour everything out at His feet.