Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Wedding Clipping

Last sunday, just like every other sunday, I read through the wedding announcements in the newspaper. One caught my eye. This particular bride had graduated from UVA with her masters degree in communications disorders and had taken a job as the speech-language pathologist for a public school system in Virginia. This statement about her life caught my attention because, according to my plan, this was going to be the path I was going to take after I graduated with my bachelors degree. I was really bothered by the fact that this girl is living the life I chose to walk away from to do fulltime ministry. I was also bothered that I was bothered...

Anyway, I have just been sitting on this and waiting for God to show me something about this. I know I have settled this in my heart and often fight down feelings of missing out of things "I could be doing". I love speech pathology and wonder why God would place such feelings and interests in my life if there was never anything for me to do about it. I also think about the money I could be giving away to others in ministry if I was earning it (by the boatloads) as a speech pathologist. But today God reminded me of something...

Mary worshipped Jesus with something valuable when she poured the perfume all over his feet. She baffled everyone around her because she was so willing to give up an entire lifes wages to Him. She gave up something that was so valuable to her. I am sure it was hard for her to give that up. I am also sure that she questioned, as I often do, why she had given that up to him....not that he didn't deserve that - and more- but because she was human and probably had to fight off the feelings of doubt afterwards. Perhaps it's horrible theology to think about her questions regarding her sacrifice, but I tend to wonder about the humanity and weaknesses of the people from the Bible we hold so high in our eyes. I am pretty sure she dealt with stinging feelings when she needed a little extra cash months and years after that powerful night with Jesus. I am confident that she got tired of explaining to people why she chose to do what she did that night. I bet she found herself shaking her head to erase thoughts of doubt knowing the entire time she had done the right thing for her King. But I am also pretty sure that at the end of the day, she was proud of the move she had made. Each time her needs were met financially or she smelled a frangrance similar to the perfume she spilled out for Jesus, she was absolutely confident she had done the right thing. Mary considered her gift an honor and was pleased to give it away to someone so worthy.

In another moment of poor theological practices, I am pretty sure the stinging feelings I get when my mind wanders to what I could own or give away with a different income could be similar to what Mary felt days and weeks after she worshipped Jesus that night. I am confident that the times I get almost annoyed with people who ask if I will ever use my degree in speech pathology are similar to the times Mary had she was asked to explain why she did what she did to honor Jesus that night. And I know that when I shake loose the selfish thoughts in my head about what I missing out on, I am in the same class of women -even just for a moment- as Mary. Good company I'd say.

So, to the newly engaged couple I read about last week, congrads on the next step in your life! And for the bride-to-be, thanks for filling in for me. Since you took that job, the kids in your county will have a great speech pathologist to help them learn what they need to know. And because you are there, I can be here- doing what God needs me to do. I can sincerely be happy for this new bride and her great life knowing that I am not the only one who has questioned big sacrifices for God. I bet each time Mary passed by a woman wearing a perfume even slightly similar to the one that filled that jar she poured out on Jesus' feet, she soaked up the fragrance deeply. Not so much because she loved the scent, but because it reminded her of her love for Jesus and how much more valuable he is compared to the worth of such desired possessions.

1 comment:

Annie said...

Yippee! I love this writing. Thank you so much. It means a great deal to me. I love you. Annie