In some liturgical Christian traditions, today is the day the church remembers and honors Mary anointing the feet of Jesus with expensive and rare perfume.
It was a beautiful act of great sacrifice as the perfume would ordinarily be a family treasure broken and used only at death for anointing a beloved body.
It’s also an expression of deep sorrow because somehow Mary knew.
So she poured out her precious gift on the One Who loves her most.
Tears are my sacrifice.
I am pouring them at the feet of Jesus, trusting He will receive them and bless them as He did those of Mary even if others don’t understand.
Christians sometimes have a funny idea about sorrow being unspiritual. We often expect grieving hearts to heal quickly without allowing for the many stages of the grief process. Pam writes, ‘Our Savior was ‘a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief’ (Isaiah 53:3). I wonder if He came to one of our churches now like that, if someone wouldn’t try and cheer Him up and tell Him to ‘let it go and open himself to the joy of the Lord,’ then give him a book and tape series to that effect?’ “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for His mercy is great, but do not let me fall into the hands of men.” 2 Samuel 24:14Jennifer Saake, Hannah’s Hope
I do know that God has made many precious promises to those who love Him and suffer sorrow in this life.
Psalm 84 has always been a favorite and since Dominic ran ahead to Heaven it is doubly so. Verse six speaks hope to my heart:
“Passing through the Valley of Weeping (Baca), they make it a place of springs; The early rain also covers it with blessings.” AMP
This version is beautiful:
And how blessed all those in whom you live,
whose lives become roads you travel;
They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks,
discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain!
God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and
at the last turn—Zion! God in full view!
~ Psalm 84:5-7 MSG
No matter how difficult the passage, God promises to be with me on the journey and to bless my endurance with His very Self.
It’s hard to receive sorrow with open hands and even harder to lift it as a sacrifice of praise.
But when I do, I find God meets me there.
The pain doesn’t disappear, but He gives me strength to bear up under it.
And this great sorrow that weighs on my heart also opens my eyes. I am not the only one weeping.
Look at Jesus. He is always weeping, a man of sorrows. Do you know why? Because He is perfect. When you are not absorbed in yourself, you can feel the sadness of the world.Tim Keller