When you came by for a visit and her sister wanted her in the kitchen, she listened to your teaching at your feet. When her brother died and she did not understand why you did not heal him, she wept at your feet. When her brother was raised from the dead and people wanted to kill you because they refused to understand, she poured precious oil on your feet and wiped them with her hair.
On bended knees, this was how she always received you. On good days and hard days, she always came to your feet.
My sister Jean once told me that we are like teabags. We release our flavor, our aroma, our true selves—in hot water. Will I be faithful, kind, and patient when I am under pressure, when I cannot understand, when death is near? What are the words that will come out of my mouth when I am provoked, when I cannot help it, when I am despised?
Will I remain in your love, my Lord? Will I fall at your feet? Will I stay here?
Mary's love for you was so indiscreet, immodest even. She held nothing back. When other people were blind to your beauty and deaf to your voice, she was held captive. You, the Maker of Stars, was in her home. The voice who spoke the universe into place was speaking. So, Mary listened.
She ran to you when you were near. Blinded by tears and confused, she fell at your feet. Here, she was safe; you were her refuge. She did not try to explain her pain or keep herself together or ask you why her brother had to die. She just wept.
Mary's love for you made people squirm in their seats, uncomfortable. Her love seemed so foolish and wasteful. Surely, she was showing too much, pouring out her respectability like that pound of expensive oil. The crown of her head wiped the dust of your feet. Again and again, she abandoned herself and other people's expectations. Her love was not respectable, or useful, or reasonable.
When people despised her, she did not try to defend herself or explained what she was doing. When people criticized her and rebuked her, she remained silent.
She knew you understood.
You saw her, and that was enough. You defended her before the scoffers and their disapproving glaces. You commended her. You wept with her.
|My mother on bended knees.|
On ordinary days, Mary was probably an excellent helper to Martha; this would explain why Martha could not do without her help. I am guessing she washed the dishes and helped with the clean-up when Jesus and his disciples left.
The difference between Mary and everybody else was not merely differences in their actions or postures. What set Mary apart was her certainty that Jesus was who he claimed to be: The Son of God. Those were no ordinary days. Those were the days when God walked and ate and slept among his people.
Therefore, she came to Jesus on bended knees. Her encounters with Jesus were not meetings between two equals. Mary came to Jesus as a subject before her King, a worshiper before her God.
bend your knees on ordinary days,
bend your knees on hard days,
bend your knees on days when you are not sure.
behold your King,
his feet hanging on a tree.