NOVEMBER 16

 

She hath done what she could—Mark 14: 8.

 

It is not our privilege to come into personal contact with our dear Redeemer, but it is our privilege to anoint the Lord's "brethren" with the sweet perfume of love, sympathy, joy and peace, and the more costly this may be as respects our self- denials, the more precious it will be in the estimation of our Elder Brother, who declared that in proportion as we do or do not unto His brethren, we do or do not unto Him. … Our alabaster boxes are our hearts, which should be full of the richest and sweetest perfumes of good wishes, kindness and love toward all, but especially toward … our Lord Jesus, and toward all His disciples … on whom we now have the privilege of pouring out the sweet odors of love and devotion in the name of the Lord, because we are His.

 

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It was not because Jesus was without knowledge of Mary's human weaknesses that He was appreciative of her good deed wrought on Him; but despite that knowledge He had the nobility of character that could look upon both her ability and intention, and this made Him so appreciative of Mary, whom He knew to have intended the best she had for Him, and to have done it to the best of her ability. Therefore as a memorial to her, He gladly praised her. And doubtless He purposed that this praise should be a lesson and an encouragement for us, that we may learn to appreciate the good deeds, the loving deeds, of others, and be encouraged to do good. If with our best intentions and ability we break our alabaster boxes on His consecrated ones, He will appreciate our deed and mention it as a memorial of our having done what we could. Than this God asks no more of us; nor should we yield less.

 

Parallel passages: Ezek. 9: 11; Matt. 25: 14-17; Luke 21: 1-4; Rom. 12: 3-8; Eph. 4: 7; 6: 8; 1Tim. 6: 20; 1Cor. 3: 8, 12-15; 16: 2; 2Cor. 8: 11-24; Rev. 2: 23.

 

Questions: What have I done this week for the Lord? How? Why? With what results?

 

"SHE HATH DONE WHAT SHE COULD"

 

THE Feast was spread at Simon's house, and as

they sat at meat,

A woman came and silent stood within the open

door—

Close pressed against her throbbing heart an alabaster

box

Of purest spikenard, costly, rare, she held. With modest fear,

She dreaded to attract the curious gaze of those

 within,

And yet her well-beloved Friend was there, her

Master, Lord.

With wondrous intuition she divined that this might

be

Her last, her only opportunity to show her love;

She thought of all that He had done for her, the

holy hours

She spent enraptured at His feet, unmindful of all

else,

If only she might hear those words of Truth, those

words of Life.

She thought of that dark hour when Lazarus lay

within the tomb

And how He turned her night to day, her weeping

into joy.

Her fair face flushed, with deepening gratitude her

pure eyes shone;

With swift, light step she crossed the crowded room.

She bravely met

Those questioning eyes (for Love will find its way

through paths where lions

Fear to tread); with trembling hands she broke the

seal and poured

The precious contents of the box upon her Savior's

feet,

And all the house was filled with fragrance wonderful

and sweet.

She could not speak, her heart's devotion was too

deep, her tears

Fell softly, while she took her chiefest ornament, her

long

And silken hair and wiped His sacred feet,—when

suddenly

A rude voice broke the golden silence with, "What

waste! this might

Have sold for much, to feed the poor!" She lower

bent her head—

To her it seemed so mean a gift for love so great to

make!

Again a voice re-echoed through the room, her

blessed Lord's,

(He half arose and gently laid His hand upon her

hair)—

And how it thrilled her fainting heart to hear Him

sweetly say,

 "Rebuke her not, for she hath wrought a good work,

what she could;

Aforehand, to anoint Me for my burying, she hath

come,

and this her deed of love throughout the ages shall

be told!"

 

*   *   *

 

How oft since first I read the story of this saint of old,

My own poor heart hath burned with fervent, longing,

deep desire,

That I might thus have ministered unto my Lord and

King—

"The chiefest of ten thousand, altogether lovely One."

And now, to learn—oh! precious thought, 'tis not

too late, I still

May pour Love's priceless ointment on "the members"

of His Feet!

Dear Lord, I pray, oh! help me break with sacrificial

hand

The seal of Self, and pour the pent-up odors of my

heart

Upon Thy "Feet!" Oh! Let me spend my days and

nights in toil,

That I, perchance, may save from needless wandering,

and help

To keep them in the narrow way that leads to light

and life.

Oh! let me lay within their trembling hands a rose of

love,

A lily's pure and holy inspiration on their breast!

Dear Master, let me kneel with them in dark

Gethsemane;

Oh! help me boldly stand and meekly bear the scoffs

and jeers

Of cruel, mocking tongues! Oh! may I count no

cost, e'en life

Itself, too great to serve, to bless, to comfort Thy

dear "Feet,"

And when the last drop of my heart's devotion hath

been shed,

Oh, may I hear Thy sweet voice say, "She hath done

what she could!"

 

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