It’s Saturday night in Bethany. Simon, formerly “the leper,” has invited Jesus and his disciples over for dinner. Lazarus’ sister enters, trembling.
She carries an alabaster jar of perfume. Not the cheap stuff. This is pure nard. Worth a year’s wages. Mary opens the jar and pours. The sweet fragrance of extravagent love bathes the entire room.*
When was the last time you expressed love extravagently? I don’t mean wantonly or recklessly - there’s a proper time and place - but generously, with joyous abandon? Or are you holding back, linking arms with Someday...?
“Someday we’ll have them over for dinner.”
“Let’s get together someday.”
“We’ll take that family vacation someday. The kids will understand.”
“Someday I’ll remember her birthday.”
“I’ll give him a call someday.”
Ever notice how “Somedays” arrive with the frequency of Haley’s Comet? That calendars too often take precedence over caring? That concocting excuses is more important than connecting? Or that weeds of neglect wither the flower of friendship?
The truth is, “somedays” never come. So plant the garden. Cultivate that friendship. Buy the gift, send the card, offer the hug. Make the apology. Slow down and think for a minute. Is there a call you need to make? A letter you need to mail? An invitation to extend, an email to send - or respond to? Do it now.
Mary knew that extragavagent love is meant to be shared. What good is perfume if it never escapes the jar?