Logic would dictate that if I was a farmer and establishing a flock of sheep, I would start with the most robust looking sheep that could be found and select the ones that stayed with the pack and weren’t prone to wander. That is not God’s plan for building his Kingdom:
“I myself will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the weak but the sleek and strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.” Ezekiel 34:16.
Sometimes I like to fool myself that God chooses me for my strength of character and thoughtfulness. It doesn’t take long before I am disposed of all those vain notions and I find myself distracted, weak, and far from steadfast. As soon as I take my eyes off of God and start admiring my image in the mirror, my feet slide out from under me. But God who is patient and kind, is quick to forgive and restore hears my cry:
“Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy… Have mercy on Me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long…Bring joy to your servant for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul…You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you…” Psalm 86:1…3-5.
I have one Shepherd. He is Jesus. He watches over me and hears my pitiful bleating. He carries me when my legs are weak and comes after me when I wander. He binds up the bruises and cleanses my wounds. He calls my name. Why is it that the God of the universe cares for me so tenderly? Because that is the kind of God He is; it has nothing to do with me warranting his goodness and attention.
Mary understands this about Jesus. She has no sense of moderation as she forgoes social convention, breaks open the precious bottle of perfume and pours it on the feet of Jesus. She uncovers her head and frees her hair to wipe the dust and perfume from His feet. Dinner guests may be squirming at her lack of restraint, her humble, almost sensual response to Jesus, but He leans into her act of worship and praises her. I pray that God makes my heart more like Mary’s and less like the other dinner guests.
Lord, teach me to love you as Mary loves you…with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength and with all my mind. Today, free me of myself and what others think of me, so that I can respond to you as you deserve.