Print: Lara Casey
Might I ask a somewhat personal question, or at least a question you might not want to answer? I thank you in advance for allowing me into the deep places of yourself, where you hang up the “do it all” cape, and for two second wipe the sweat off your brow that no one else sees. Forgive the blunt delivery,but are you exhausted? Are you exhausted of trying to do it all? Are you exhausted of trying to have the next 5 years of your life planned out? Are you exhausted of, well…,trying to be God?
A few weeks ago, I shared with you my introduction to Lara Casey’s beloved (because they so are) Powersheets. It was a bit overwhelming for me to jump right into being intentional (#intentionalaugust) about my life, plans, goals, desires, and the things that matter most. To be intentional is to be on purpose, and honestly I wasn’t prepared for it. Wasn’t my alabaster jar of hopes, dreams, desires, and prayers, enough to be displayed for all to see? Isn’t it enough to say that if I say my alabaster jar, with all it holds, is priceless, sacred, precious, and valuable, then is is? This thought made me stop for a moment. I had to ask myself, what was valuable? What truly mattered; was it my pretty jar, or the contents of my jar? I couldn’t help but reflect on the story of the woman found in Luke chapter 7.
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.
A couple of things here:
1.) Why do you think, scripture emphasizes the fact that she was a sinful woman? What I do know from researching scripture is that this is the same woman that was brought into the streets to be stoned to death for being caught in the act of sin. Think about being caught in the act of sin. For her it was sexual sin, and she was caught in the act. Can you imagine the shame she must have felt? I haven’t been caught in the act of sexual sin, but I sure have felt naked and exposed in front of people that seemed to have it all together. I personally, am so thankful that our heavenly Father, being all loving, so chose not to edit out of scripture the fact that she was a sinful woman. Thank you Lord for choosing to keep, her less than glorious moments, fully exposed so that in my own failures, I see the shameless example of the redeemed.
2.) Verse 37 says, “she learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume”.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but do you not find it strange, or awkwardly uncomfortable, that she is basically going to crash the equivalent of a modern day, no girls allowed, Game Day party? What in the world was so pressing? Could it not wait? Better yet, for reputations sake, could you not wait for Jesus to come to you?
Oh that’s right, Jesus saved this woman from a brutal death for “acts” of sin. She probably is feeling completely obligated to express her thankfulness for such a kind gesture, feels that time is of the essence, reputably speaking of course, and decides cookies or say ummmmm a jar of perfume is all the more convincing.
Perhaps it was more, much more. Why a jar of perfume? I think based on her audience, I would have taken the cookies! What exactly is in this jar?
In the jar???? Oh that’s right, my Powesheets!!! My instructions say to fill a jar with the 5 things that matter most to me. All of the sudden I felt raw. Lara had just taken me on a journey of mess, and I felt like an epic failure, naked in the streets for all to see. I wonder if that is how the woman in Luke 7 felt, like an epic failure. What she had been doing wasn’t working. Neither have mine. The ways in which I have spent my time, and what demands my attention on a daily basis is having little impact on the precious valuables in my alabaster jar. Perhaps a little more like spending time in the wrong man’s bed than I would like to admit. Wait a second!
Forget the cookies!!!! I have to get to Jesus right now! I don’t care where He is, I have to get to Him right now!! The salvation of my two little nieces (2 months and 5 years) and nephew (9) are in my jar!!!! Jesus Help!!! Seeing women find authentic beauty in you, is in my jar!!! Speaking to women and bringing You, Jesus, to life in their lives, is in my jar!!! I can’t do all this. The words to this verse,
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21,
no longer fell on me in the breathy, whimsical tone I had always thought them to be. They became the utter snot cry of, not my way, but yours. Does someone have a robe, or something? I have to get my jar to Jesus! Intentional August, I understand. Action steps to Jesus. Making these things in this jar, that matter, happen His way.
“38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. 41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. 44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
I came to the end of August so pumped about what the Lord had revealed to me. I had made the decision to take some major action steps (my biggest to reveal later today) towards making what matters happen. I was in the presence of God. I had arrived, with my jar, robe and all, to the party, and Lara asks me to Savor the moment. After alllll of this work, she now wants me to stop! Are you kidding? Lord, are you sure that is what you said, because I don’t know if I’m supposed to be upset with you, her, the powersheets, or all three of you for that matter!!? Go, go, go, go, and now stop and “savor” the moment!?!?!
Your jar, Chelsie, I want you to spill it.
I’m sorry, you want me to do what, again??
Spill it, pour it out, all of it, on my feet.
Ummm, that is not what my powersheets said! Nope, I double checked. They, in fact, CLEARLY say to put the things that matter most INto the jar.
Yes, I understand child. I needed you to put the things that matter most in the jar so you could she how valuable it actually is.
I don’t want to loose them. Some of them I have been holding onto for a very long time. What if you don’t care as much as I do??
And within that question, houses, what I believe, is my greatest inability to spill my jar more times than I care to admit. How about you? What keeps you from stopping to pour out the valuables found in your alabaster jar ?
I found this verse to be absolutely profound.
“You keep track of all my sorrows.[a] You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8 NLT
Perhaps one of the most valuable item in our jars, are the tears we have shed over the other things the jar contains, marriages, children, business’, dreams, and plans. The value of the jar of perfume, belonging to the woman in Luke 7, was somewhere around a years wages. According to budget 360, this is approximately $47,000 in today’s time. It was the most valuable thing she had, and in the middle of her wrecked life, she knew that the most valuable things had to be taken to Jesus.
It’s now 4AM here in Texas. I have spent the last 5 hours getting to know a sinful woman, who took her messed up life, her perfume jar, and intentionally took it into the presence of her Redeemer. She spilled her everything, her valuable jar of precious tears, on the feet of the one who keeps track of every sorrow, every concern, and knows what they mean to us. He knows what matters most, and He is simply waiting for us to stop and spill our jars of expensive perfume, so we can sit at His feet and savor, yes SAVOR (enjoy to the fullest), the intoxicating aroma of a beautiful surrender.