Sunday, March 25, 2012

foolish love and hope

Lord, I am like Mary Magdalene: accept my foolish gift according to your extravagant love; show yourself when I have no hope of seeing you.

Mary wasted a lot of perfume that could have been sold to help the poor. How could this possibly be loving?

We all do foolish things, even in love. Love seems to have a wisdom of foolishness, does it not? Maybe love is only made truly love when we’re willing to be foolish for it.

Either way, let’s suppose we do things that are intrinsically foolish. No matter: Jesus’ love transforms our foolish acts into foolish acts sprung from love. His unconditional acceptance of whatever we bring encourages us to bring him more. There is no “must-be-good-enough” with Jesus. This leads to even bolder foolishness. This is just fine with Jesus. Pretty soon you get to a point where others just shake their heads at the impropriety of grace-without-compunction, nor restraint. What a dangerous concept grace is—it can make fools of us, if we let it. Pray it does.

Mary thought Jesus was gone for good. Just when all hope was gone, he shows up.

Has it been a long time since you’ve “seen” Jesus? You miss his voice. You miss his friendship. You miss his teachings—how much you learned from him! Maybe he was never here. Maybe you only imagined he was alive.

He is alive. Nothing you think changes that; you just don’t know it yet. But, he’s right there, disguised as a gardener. It won’t be long before he speaks your name and then you’ll know. Hang on. Get ready for the surprise of your life. Until then, it’s okay to cry. You were made to be his friend. When he tarries, hope toughens. Who can understand why grace behaves this way?

“She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body.” —Mark 14:8

“Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” —John 20:15

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