One of the things I love about God is His divine ability to remove darkness and replace it with light. To erase shame and put honour in its place. Unlike most of the other women in the bible, there isn’t a lot of information about Mary. In fact, a lot of people aren’t sure how to specifically identify her. However, I am not here to debate. I am here to talk about a woman who gladly took beauty for her ashes and loved the Son of Man for loving her despite her imperfections.
“And behold a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at a table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and weeping she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head and she kissed His feet and anointed them with fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Jesus had seen this, he spoke to himself saying “This man if He were a prophet would know what manner of woman is touching Him for she is a sinner….” – Luke 7:37-39
“…. 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?” – Mark 14: 3-4
The many reasons I like Mary comes down to one essential feature about her. She took her worship to another level. Or as some people say, she “did the most”. She had heard about Jesus and all the wonderful things He had done. She believed (Luke 7: 50) and that propelled her to do something special for Him.
When I had just gotten saved, I remember sitting in church and feeling like God was in my soul literarily pouring in waves of love and healing. I remember wanting to just throw on the floor and “act a fool”. But I also remember thinking “nah that’s too much. That kind of deepness is not for me; I can only come so close”. I even used to think that people who did end up on the floor were doing too much. I became a Pharisee to myself and others. But after allowing the love of God to overtake me, I began to believe that God actually loved me and was ready to receive me! And it is okay to cry and scream if we want to. To do something we do not really see others do or something that is over the top. Just to bless Him for who He is.
Sometimes we shy away because we don’t feel worthy. Or because we know that if we let go and let God, people will see just how ugly we used to be or are at that moment. And then sometimes we judge other people’s ugly. But God in His infinite love and redemptive nature forgives much where we fall much (Luke 7: 47). And He wants to be loved! Mary at the time she anointed Jesus’ feet was not what you would call a “seasoned believer” lol. But she did in a couple of minutes or hours at most, what it takes some of us years to do. Now not only is she remembered forever, but she also went on to have a beautiful and intimate relationship with Jesus.
Ladies, cry, sweat and let that make up run. Don’t wear that dress or those shoes that make you so uncomfortable and robotic that you can’t let loose and give God your all. Men, cry if you want to and don’t try and cover your eyes. Jump up and down and look a little silly. SO, WHAT?!
Worship God will all love and honour even if it leaves you undignified in the eyes of men. God loves it. He sees and He will reward.
Another aspect of Mary’s worship that is admirable was her child like love for Jesus.
“…And Jesus answered and said to her “Martha, Martha you are worried and troubled about many things. But Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” – Luke 10: 41-42
Her sister was serving but Mary was listening. Even though she could hear Him from sitting somewhere else, she chose to sit at His feet. I can imagine it. Mary sitting there, her eyes fixed on Him in awe and wonder. “What manner of man is this?”. His words causing her to lean into Him and breathe Him in and love on Him. Like a child that just wanting to be close to the parent. And again, someone saw and thought that what she was doing was wrong because she was not doing what was expected of her at that moment. How many times have the expectations of men or even our own expectations of ourselves, led us to put limits to our relationship with God? Mary wanted more and expectations went out the window. God loves to be loved on. He does not command our love like someone pounding on the table placing a demand on us. He wants love because He is love and He knows His worth.
Whether its screaming a little louder, spending more time in His presence than usual or being that person who always ends up talking about God, just do it. Maybe someone will tell you that you are doing too much. Let them. Now, I am not saying you should forsake all your responsibilities in life and spend all your time reading your bible. But let your relationship with God feed into every area of your life.
“..I’m chasing after You, no matter what I have to do, cause I need You, more and more..” – VaShawn Mitchell
“He who follows righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness and honour” – Proverbs 21: 21
By Uchenna Stephanie Akurunwa