"While He [Jesus] was in Bethany, ...a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on His head. Some of those present...rebuked her harshly. 'Leave her alone,' said Jesus. 'Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to Me.... She did what she could.'"
Mary of Bethany. She did what she could. She poured out everything she had because of her love for Jesus. And Jesus called it "beautiful."
People around her questioned her actions. They said she could have done it a better way. Said she could have been more effective. Maybe even accused her of doing "more harm than good."
But Jesus saw her heart. He saw the motive behind her offering. And He was pleased.
He calls us to do what we can.
Six months ago, I came face to face with suffering like I have never seen. I walked into a room with babies who were so very tiny and malnourished. Babies lined up, three to a crib, in row after row of cribs.
As I left that place, I was completely overwhelmed. I was angry. I cried out to God, asking Him why He had shown this terrible suffering to me. "God, I cannot fix this," I told Him. "It's too big. There are too many babies. There are too few resources and not enough time."
But God, in His gracious, loving way, took me back to His Word. He reminded me of my calling:
"For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in, I needed clothes and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me." Matt. 25:35-36
And, I was able breathe deeply again. I was able to lay down this crushing burden on my heart at His feet, remembering He was the Savior, not me. He didn't call me to fix anything. He called me to feed the hungry ones in front of me and to give them something to drink. To visit the ones in bondage and look after them when they are sick.
He called me to do what I could.
And His call is the same to you.
Maybe it won't seem like much. Maybe others will tell you there's a better way, a more effective way. Maybe they will rebuke you and tell you what you are doing is a waste. That you shouldn't go. That you shouldn't do. That you are doing more harm than good....
But the only voice you need to listen to is His.
Because when we go, out of love for Him, pouring out our life at His feet on behalf of the least of the least, the vulnerable, the forgotten, He says, "Whatever you did for one of the least of these..., you did it for Me."
So, give Him your "Yes." Give Him you all. Pour it out at His feet. Whatever you have, whether it's a jar of perfume, a stick, a loaf and a fish, or maybe just a couple of pennies, God can use it, just as He did for Mary and Moses, the young boy and the old widow.
And, who knows, maybe God will use you like He did Mary of Bethany-
"She would be the one who told others about Him. Who served. Who gave. But on that night, her service began with waste for God alone. And I like to think that in pouring herself out at His feet, she changed the world."
Unseen by Sara Hagerty
So, go. Be a Mary. Do what you can. And change the world.
"He [God] needs no one,
but when faith is present, He works through anyone."
-A W Tozer