The woman held an alabaster jar in her hands. It was sealed, but she knew the significance of the contents in it. The very expensive perfume encased therein had been given to her by her father. It was supposed to be her gift to the man she was to marry. However, the perfume still remained intact.
She knew why: no man wanted her. She was a woman of the night.
They only wanted her for a night, to satisfy their animal desires, but detested looking at her in the morning. Her fate was sealed, just like the alabaster box. She would never get married. That was a disgrace she would carry with her for the rest of her life. The jar was a continual reminder of that ugly fact.
She turned the jar in her hands, letting it catch reflections of the morning sun. Today she would let go of the perfume. She only prayed that her plan went well without any interruptions.
The street was noisy and the afternoon sun sweltering. She could not help but notice the pointing fingers and the whispers as she went down the street. She branched off into an alley, kicked rubbish out of her way and continued to the next street. She was almost at her destination.
Simon, the Pharisee was a superb host. His visitors came in large numbers and more often. Today, he was hosting the woman’s most wanted man. Jesus.
The woman stood across the street from the Simon’s home and waited for the courage to walk into the house. She could see through the doorway that the men were already reclined on the tables. Dinner was underway.
Men. Those were her biggest obstacle. She was not allowed to interrupt their meal. But now that she was already here, there was no use going back. Her alabaster jar would remain unbroken. And she would never be satisfied.
She crossed the street. Now a few feet lay between her and the threshold. She continued walking, her head held high, her gaze straightforward. She crossed the threshold. She was now inside. She could see all the men reclined on the table, eating and having small talk.
Suddenly, she was overcome by emotion. Tears started flowing down her face even as she walked closer to the man of her dreams. She barely noticed the silence that enveloped the room as all attention was turned towards her.
She stood behind Jesus. Her cries came out in low sobs. Then, slowly, she kneeled down and kissed his dusty feet. She wiped her wet face on them and wetted them with her tears. The tears continued to flow, like the floodgates of her soul had been ripped apart. She cried for the man she’d never have. She cried for the wrong choices she had made. She cried for joy. She cried for love for this one man.
She kissed the dirty feet again.
Then she wiped the feet with her hair.
Her heart was pounding. She knew any time hands would manhandle her and throw her out. She was totally disgracing herself, showing up in a room full of men, with her hair let down and naked. But she didn’t care. She was going to love on Jesus as long as it took.
The feet now looked clean. The woman got out her alabaster jar. She broke it and anointed his feet.
The fragrance filled the whole room.
She heard Simon clear his throat and mumble something.
Jesus said to him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."
"Oh? Tell me."
"Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be more grateful?"
Simon answered, "I suppose the one who was forgiven the most."
"That's right," said Jesus.
Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, he said, "Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn't quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn't it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal."
Then he spoke to her: "I forgive your sins." (Luke 7:40-48 The Message)
(Excerpt from What If God Doesn't Really Love You?)
Have you experienced such forgiveness -- so much forgiveness -- that made you want to kiss Jesus' dusty feet?