A woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner."
— Luke 7. 37-49
For all the sappy crayon drawings, for the hopelessly cheap cards sent by those who've never had to before, for all the thanks that come from so far behind they seem like pranks but are not, for the secret favors, possibly wasted, given in tangled thanks for widely unrecognized but life-saving blessings, for songs of heartfelt praise sung loudly and out of tune, wearing a totally inappropriate dress, for the hymns of prostitutes and the tears of drunks and the awkward deals and ridiculous vows of ex-cons, recovering creeps and former sleaze-balls, for their laughable attempts, both noble and pathetic, at some kind of tribute for the miracle of being able to put one day in front of another, for all the bizarre attempts at tokens of appreciation botched by the invisible disfigurements of the bullied and abused, for all the slipshod, embarrassing, unacceptable ways, in ignorance, poor judgment and terrible taste, that the redeemed have found to voice gratitude and amazement at the simplest things, at lives that are not as mangled as they started out to be, for the once-cruel lover, restored, who can't stop laughing to tearseven in crowded places, for the sloppy embrace of the slut who's been hit by the lightning of forgiveness, for the homeless man, reeling from the novelty of respect, who gives away his best piece of cardboard, for the woman who bursts into sobs in church, for every raw disclosure of the heart, however garish or inept,
for these the Lord holds still, and follows each tear on his feet and gazing steadfastly says, “Friend, thank you.”
And all you accomplished people in right minds and good clothes and polished hearts who have kept your composure and your treasure: goofy as he looks doing that, behold— he really means it.
Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes firstname.lastname@example.org