In my last post, I told the story of how God helped us rescue a teenage girl. It has been such a joy to see her living with us. Her body is still recovering from the latest physical abuse – she’s really favoring her right arm – but her injuries are healing more every day. Yesterday, she even jumped into an impromptu soccer game with the other kids. She was laughing and squealing along with the rest of them.
This morning, while I was finalizing some of the administrative details before taking our final loads out to the new property (yes, we’re still moving), I heard a soft knock on the door. In she came, with a little plastic box. Without saying anything, she came over and, opening the box, removed a string of rhinestones, which she fastened around my neck. Then, she touched my earlobes, and said, “I’ll bring these!” And, with a smile and a whirl, she was gone.
“Wow,” I thought, as I waited for her to come back. “She is giving me her own jewelry?”
She came back, not only with earrings, but with a matching bracelet and ring. She had given me the entire set of her beautiful treasures.
This whole scenario set me to thinking of the gift of perfume that was showered on Jesus by the woman in Luke 7:36-50. Apparently, this woman had been living a sinful life before she met Jesus. She lived in disgrace before others because of the shame associated with her particular lifestyle. But, meeting Jesus changed her. Her heart was captivated by the love in His eyes and the hope in his words. So, she crashed a dinner party where Jesus was the guest of honor. Ignoring the questioning eyes, she threw herself at Jesus’ feet and broke open the jar of perfume. With all the love in her heart, she poured out an extravagant offering. Jesus said, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven – for she loved much.”
I have always identified with that woman. My own past was filled with shame, guilt, and disgrace, but the love of Jesus freed me, and so I gladly offer all I have.
I’m taking off the jewelry now, so that I won’t damage it as we finish the move. I will treasure this gift from my friend. She gave it with so much love! Somehow, by her gift, I am strangely reminded of the path I’ve walked with Jesus, and a longing rises in me to be extravagant in my own love offerings. He has forgiven much!