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March 1, 2013

“Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me.” Mark 14:6b


Love is sometimes rational.  Sometimes it’s discretion personified.  Sometimes it’s sensible and calculating.  Sometimes it’s wrapped in duty and utility and is the very expression of wisdom.  But not always.  Love, if it’s love, may show itself in irrational exuberance.  Real love may—so often does—defy all reason.  Logic and love sometimes clash.

If love carries us not beyond ourselves, perhaps it’s something else—maybe affection, a warm feeling—but not love.  Love calls out the best—even the beyondness that baffles, the lunacy that legitimates the illogical.

That’s why she did it—not of duty, not of utility, not of necessity, but of love overflowing that risks the barbs of lesser hearts, that does the lovely deed, unshackled of the needlings, the questionings, the bondage of their better way.  She broke the costly jar.  She poured the nard all out upon Him.  The fragrance filled the room.  Everyone knew and knowing judged the deed.  Too much!  A waste!  The poor?  Scandalous!

Have you ever, like Mary of Bethany, done something for God—just because?  Because you loved Him and wanted to do something for Him?  Paralyzing fear of displeasure gets cast out in love’s abandonment.  Usefulness, no longer the measure, or perhaps even the possible, gets replaced by devotion.  What was it?  Was it the tiny thing, unobserved and all unknown except to Him?  Or was the big thing criticized and condemned by the unknowing?

But God knows, just as the Son looked into Mary’s heart and saw a love gone wild with a total abandonment that had to be expressed.  He, understanding, turned back the barbs of hurtfulness.  This thought and the deed so full of love will still be told when the stars have passed away.

Larry A. Shelley

You will like the thoughts and writing of Larry Shelley. We were college classmates, but he is much smarter than I. Give me a comment if you like his article, and I will forward it to him. I am encouraging him now to start his own blog.

One Comment
  1. I did love the article. But, I disagree with your idea that he is much smarter than you!

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