Monday, April 18, 2011
Reading from Scripture: John 12: 1-11 Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. Last week I received my first pedicure, and it was wonderful. My seventeen-year-old daughter gave me one. First she filled a bowl with warm water and scented bath salts, and invited me to soak my feet, which seem to be sore and tired more of the time as each year passes. Then she lovingly rubbed off the callouses and applied lotion. Finally she filed and polished my toenails, and placed my newly prettied feet into a pair of soft slippers. The whole time she was working on my feet, I kept thinking about the scriptures in Holy Week that deal with caring for feet. On Monday of Holy Week we hear about how Mary, the sister of Lazarus who was raised from the dead, perfumes his feet and wipes them clean with her own hair. On Thursday of Holy Week, we hear about Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. Because Jesus and his followers live in a dry climate and walk everywhere they go wearing sandals, foot care is hard work--considered both menial and unpleasant--yet Mary seems thrilled to be able to anoint Jesus' feet. We often say it is better to give than receive, but sometimes we fall into relationship patterns in which one person does most of the giving while someone else does most of the receiving. This is a normal pattern for some relationships--parents, for example, must do most of the giving in relation to young children--but everyone should be given the chance to experience the joy of giving regularly. If you are better at giving than receiving, ask someone you love to bring you a cup of tea or to run an errand for you. If you tend to be on the recieving end of kindness more than someone you love, do an unexpected kindness today, and experience the blessing that comes from generosity.