She understood. She knew how broken she was, how impossible it would be to repair the shattered pieces of her life. She had all but given up hope, until she heard his voice. Filled with compassion yet strong enough to challenge everything she knew. When he spoke of sin and sorrow, he spoke as if it touched everyone. As if it was the thing that gives humanity common ground.
She followed in the shadows at first, afraid of being noticed. She never got close enough to see his eyes, but his voice…it washed over her like expensive perfume. Then, on a day when she was trying to hide, trying to listen without being noticed, He noticed her.
He noticed her.
His eyes locked with hers and the ground she stood on shifted. She couldn’t turn away, couldn’t hide her face. She stood, mesmerized by the compassion in his eyes. He spoke of love being greater than hate and forgiveness freely offered. He spoke as if there was hope for anyone, that all could be known God.
Someone else yelled out, asking how this forgiveness could be received. With eyes of compassion still on her, he answered…
The murmurs rippled through the crowd, some even crying out that he was a false prophet. She knew, though. Somehow, she knew that this man was looking into the deepest, darkest place inside of her and He was offering her compassion.
He was offering her forgiveness.
Then, he smiled and she caught the light in his eyes. It felt as if in the midst of a chaotic crowd, he was sharing a priceless secret with her. Tears trailed her cheeks, as she realized this man must be who He claimed to be.
Son of the living God…
It was that encounter that led her to this doorway, this house where he rested, dining with friends. She was desperate to express her deep gratitude to Him, to give him something in exchange for the priceless gift of His acceptance and forgiveness.
What does one give the Son of God, to say thank you for gathering close the broken pieces of a life?
When her hand touched the small vial of perfume hanging around her neck, she knew…she knew what she could do, what she would do to show this man how much He meant to her.
With her most treasured possession clutched in shaking fingers, she made her way into the house, weaving around the men lounging on pillows and against walls. She felt the eyes of her accusers, heard their whispers of judgement. None of that mattered, though. Not now that she had met Him. She knelt before him, and laid herself low at his feet.
Somehow, laying on the ground before Him made her feel more valued, rather than less.
She removed his sandals, and as she let her tears wash away the dirt on his feet, she knew He was washing away the dirty stain on her soul. She bent low to kiss the feet of her Savior, her redeemer, the Son of her Creator. He laid a hand on her head and at his touch the last piece of her shattered life, made itself known through more tears.
She had come to offer him a gift of gratitude, and in the doing was receiving a deeper measure of his love.
She opened her alabaster jar and began pouring her greatest treasure out on His feet. Then, with her own hair, she wiped them clean. When she finished, she felt his hand on her cheek and she looked up into the eyes of a King.
“Go in peace. Your sins are forgiven.”
He had found her. In a world that didn’t deserve His presence, He had found her. She left that night free, for the first time in all of her life. She knew what it meant to be stained, to live in the dark corners, but now she knew what it meant to step into radiant light and be known. He knew her. He looked into that most secret place, and He loved her, despite what he saw there.
When she washed the Master’s feet, He washed away her sin.
She came that day to offer Him her most precious possession, hoping it would give Him a glimpse of just how much He was changing her life. In her offering of thanksgiving, she found a deep, rich and satisfying love.
A love more priceless than the most precious perfume.