There was nothing conventional about it. If there was a rule book, she ignored it . . . if there was protocol, she rewrote it. If she was trying to make up for the host’s lack of etiquette in welcoming his Guest for dinner, she got it all wrong.
The host should have washed the young Rabbi’s feet with water . . . he should have welcomed the One he had asked to eat with him with a kiss on the cheek . . . he should have offered to refresh his dining Companion by anointing His head with oil . . . but he did none of those things. Instead, this woman who crashed the party, took it upon herself to honor the Guest. But, if she had meant to make up for the hosts lack of good graces, she got it all wrong . . . she never got beyond the Visitor’s feet. She began to weep at His feet . . . taking those tears and wetting His feet . . . taking her glory, her hair, and using it to wipe and clean the dust from His feet . . . and then she kissed His feet and anointed them with ointment. She never got beyond the feet. Her presence there was unprecedented . . . her worship there was unconventional. How come? Because she loved much.
Then turning toward the woman [Jesus] said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she has anointed My feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven–for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7:44-47 ESV)
She didn’t mean to be “over the top” . . . had no intention to create a scene . . . but she was . . . and she did. And you sense it was because she was compelled to respond . . . that she was driven to worship. The desire to exalt the Savior by humbling herself was so primal that nothing could hold her back . . . not the fact that she was a sinner unwelcomed in a Pharisee’s house . . . not the fact that she would make a spectacle of herself as she humbled herself at the Teacher’s feet . . . not the fact that she would fill that place with an aroma that overshadowed the smell of the meal on the table and draw all attention to her place at the Master’s feet. I don’t think she had any intention of drawing attention to herself . . . but that her desire was only for the Forgiver of Her Sins. But attention she did draw . . . the attention of the Son of God . . . He saw to that . . . because she loved much.
And I can’t help but reflect on the fact that how I worship is a mirror reflecting how much I know I’m forgiven. The more righteous I think I am . . . the less right my worship is. The less I think the cross was fully for me . . . the more I’ll be complacent towards bowing before Him. To the degree to which I think I’m pretty good . . . will be the degree to which I consider paying homage to Him pretty optional.
But to be a sinner . . . is to pursue a Savior. To acknowledge the depths of darkness that once enveloped me . . . is to adore the One who gave Himself that I might be translated into marvelous light. To weigh afresh the debt I once owed before a holy God and the bankrupt account I had upon which to draw . . . is to worship anew at the feet of Him who paid the price in full. To be forgiven much . . . is to love much. To love little . . . well, that’s simply misguided and out of touch with reality.
Forgiven much? Love much?
She was . . . and she did . . . might I be more like her. By His grace . . . for His glory . . .