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Hopeful Desperation: The Memory

April 14, 2014

Photo by Andrew Larson

I don’t know how to follow Jesus. I do things I don’t want to do, and I neglect my relationship with God every time my thoughts wander to darker passions. Grace abounds, yet so do the blackened habits that separate me from my creator.

“What is she doing?”

“Who does she think she is?”

“Does she know how much that is worth?”

Do you think she knew? Do you think she realized the significance of her impulsive act of devotion?

She lets down her hair, wipes his feet… in front of everyone.

There are whispers. “We all love Jesus, but this… this is scandalous.”

“Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial.”

What was “it”? The rest of the perfume? Doubtful. The text hints at the fact that much of it was used, and the rest would have spoiled in the damaged jar (Mark 14:3).

This moment… this memory… this is what he wanted her to have.

“On Friday your world will shatter. Cling to this moment. Nothing will make sense. You will be desperate for hope, but find none. Cling to this moment.”

As I picture this moment, I’m weeping. I feel Jesus’ sadness as he looks at his friend… his daughter… knowing the pain awaiting her. I feel her resistance. “No, this cannot be…” I see Jesus looking into Mary’s eyes, both of them realizing what is to come. I feel the despair… There is nothing left now. No reason to keep up appearances. She is preparing him for burial. He will die.

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