A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisees house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. Luke 7:3738 NIV
WITHOUT A DOUBT, something far out of the ordinary was happening. A woman of the street had broken cultural norms, knelt at Jesus feet, poured expensive perfume on them, and wiped them with her hair. Those looking on were stunned. Only Christ grasped the significance of what was really happening: extreme love for God. However, the most extreme love for God seems only reasonable, given who Christ is and what he has done for us. And he has the capacity to be loved by the whole world for eternity.
The womans extreme love in this story illustrates several components that give clarity for others who want to practice it. Her love was tangible. It was expressed to a flesh-and-blood person who experienced this tender act of caring. It was intense. Her whole person was given to this. She was weeping. It involved an inordinate amount of personal expense. Extreme love for God will invariably cost us a great deal. There was nearness to God. Are we near enough to him to listen well and hear clearly, even when he whispers?
At the same time, there was distance from societys expectations. What she was willing to do was far removed from the norms of polite society. What do we need to separate ourselves from, in order to live out an extreme love for God? What bold things are we willing to do as a result of our delight in God and his interests, thoughts, ways, and timing?
Dear God, let my love for you move me to much deeper and more significant levels of commitment. May I gladly make whatever efforts needed to tangibly express that to you and others. Amen.
-Ryan Chapman, Credentials Services Coordinator, Church of God Ministries, Anderson, Indiana