New King James Version (NKJV)
3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
This week I sat with a friend in the hospital who is very ill. The family had been called in and this family of believers all stood at his bedside and petitioned heaven on his behalf. The very presence of the Lord could be felt as a strong family of believers prayed. As we all prayed I noticed there was one very attentive nurse that continued to stand in the shadows to make sure all of the family and patients’ needs were met. As our prayer for the patient ended I was compelled to pray for that nurse. I took her hands and asked if it would be okay to pray for her. Tears filled her eyes and she nodded her head. The whole family of the patient as if on one accord shifted their focus to this beautiful vessel that served their loved on so selflessly. As I prayed for this kind nurse that entered each room, I thanked God for the mercy and compassion that was evident in the way she cared for her patients. I thanked God for the selflessness that allowed her to serve others regardless of her personal circumstances and for the hands the touched so many fevered brows. As she left the room she whispered over and over again, “Thank You”. So many times we look for ministry in the four walls of the church and fail to see those God has place in the halls of hospitals, in the class rooms of our children, in the cubicles on our jobs, in the seats of congress (yes there are some) and even on the dark streets of distress, to minister to those that do not make it to the pew on Sunday morning. This nurse that went quietly about her work ministering to the sick, accepting the commission to care for the needs of others, reminded me of Mary as she anointed our Saviors feet, the scripture says, she “took a pound of very costly oil”. The cost of service is not always obvious to the world. For the time this nurse, no doubt, gave up with her family during the holiday season to care for those sick and dying, the toll it must take on her to enter hospital rooms day after day, to comfort the family of those that have suffered the loss of a loved one. The “pound of very costly oil” that those that serve in the shadows give of themselves to “anoint the feet of Jesus”. There are those that serve in so many capacities in and out of the pulpit that should not be taken for granted. Let us take time to pray one for another for all that those in the shadows that give so unselfishly. Who is it that has blessed you by their ministry, just by serving quietly, steadfastly in the shadows and making sure “the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil” of mercy, love, compassion and understanding? Maybe it was a friend that called to say “I was thinking of you? A coworker that patted you on the back as they walked by? A stranger that smiled and said hello? The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker? Say a prayer for them today and recognize it is a ministry of God’s love.
Prayer: Father thank you for your angels of love and compassion that surround us. Let us be mindful of all that we touch and come in contact with, for we are a reflection of your love.
The Compassionate Heart