The warm days of April are finally here and we are hard at work in our little corner of the world. Fresh green growth has magically appeared on most of our lavender plants. We are thankful once again to see this miracle!
We are also thankful for the addition of a small tractor to our farm. This will help Ronnie greatly when tilling rows on the new ground we’re preparing on our slope. We have learned tilling on a hill can be quite challenging with a walk behind. Besides, tractors are more fun!
This week we are replacing the plants that didn’t survive the winter. There’s always sadness when losing a plant, but I could hardly wait to take the dead ones out of the garden and put a thriving plant in its place. It’s great to get it all cleaned up and ready for the blooming season!
More importantly, this is Holy Week. While we’ve been working around the farm, we’ve also been meditating on the meaning of this time of year. Our pastor spoke on John 12 this past Sunday. It tells about an event that happened six days before Jesus was crucified. A supper was held in His honor. Several people were there including Lazarus, Martha, Mary, and some of the disciples. The verse that has echoed through my mind this week is this one:
“Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” ~ John 12:3
Apparently, Jesus was at the table when Mary brought the perfume in and poured it on His feet. While it was customary in that day to wash a guest’s dusty feet when they arrived, it was unusual to pour costly oil on them. And it was definitely taboo for a woman to let her hair down in front of others.
But, Mary went against the norm of the day. She had a deep love for Her Lord and acting on that meant more than what others thought of her. She was immediately ridiculed for “wasting” the perfume. Perhaps tongues were also wagging at her boldness in letting her hair down.
On a side note…. Although the oil mentioned in this verse could be from the plant, spikenard, many believe it was a different herb. Ancient Greeks commonly called lavender “nard” after the Syrian city, Naarda. While we don't know for sure, I like to think Mary poured lavender oil on Jesus’ feet and “the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” I can identify with this. Our house is often filled with this wonderful fragrance. Soap is always curing in our upstairs “lavender room.” Bundles will soon be once again drying in the upstairs alcove and lavender essential oil is regularly used in the kitchen when making our products.
While I can’t physically anoint Jesus feet with oil as Mary did, I want to be like her. Inclined to step out boldly and worship God as He leads me to. Not fearful of what others might say or think. Jesus commended Mary's actions. He even rebuked her accuser. Mary wasn’t seeking to please people. She was intent on serving Jesus.
Recently, Ronnie concluded a six-month interim period preaching at a local church. The people there had all been sweet and gracious, but one particular lady captured our attention in worship from the very first Sunday. This dear woman took her place every week on the second row across the aisle from me. She boldly worshiped the Lord, especially during the music portion of the service. Lifting her hands, gazing upwards, pumping her fists, silently crying, and often smiling. Sometimes she would take her awkward gait to the altar and kneel in prayer.
This precious saint inspired us. It didn’t take long to discover her back story. But she didn’t tell it. She couldn’t. Because she was left mute from a stroke 17 years ago. The fact that she couldn’t sing a word never stopped her from worshiping. It seemed to even enhance it. This lady is like Mary.
Totally in love with Jesus.
Willing to offer Him whatever she had.
Wishing you a beautiful Easter filled with His presence....