By: Brittany Fiscus
Reflection—v. 3, wiped them with her hair
This story is often told as if Mary washing Jesus’ feet with her hair is a beautiful, selfless act. I really think it’s kind of gross—Mary is wiping off Jesus’ dusty, dirty, blistered feet with her own hair. Could she not find an old washcloth lying around? While the image of someone actually doing this seems absurd, I am quickly reminded of the moments I have similarly witnessed at Mercy Church: someone who helps a friend change out of their soiled clothes, another who cleans stains off the bathroom floor, a pastor who sweeps up cigarette butts, or an intern who helps change a bloody, puss-filled bandage. Maybe Mary resorts to using her own hair because she looks around and realizes that she has nothing else, so she makes due with what she has. She’s already poured the perfume, and now she’s got to wipe it off with something! Sometimes loving God is a little messy; loving humans is even messier. But just as Jesus reminds us when he says ‘you do not always have me,’ it is so easy to miss out on opportunities to honor and care for one another. Sometimes we have to be a little more willing to get our hands, or even our hair, dirty when it comes to loving Christ and one another.
Prayer Jesus, give us the courage to love and care for one another, even in the mess.