A Beautiful Thing

Our greatest fear should not be of failure
but of succeeding at things in life
that don’t really matter.
| Francis Chan |

Six months ago I asked myself a question: “Am I wasting my life on things that don’t matter?”

My answer was yes.

That, my friends, is a game changer.

My reaction to this saddening truth was one of repentant tears and serious action. I cut things out of my life that were taking my time and energy away from the what  mattered. I made a decision to spend every single day wasting myself on Jesus in worship and prayer. I started this blog as a declaration to the world and to Him that I will spend myself for His glory.

Some days, though, it is so shamefully easy to do the opposite.

Some days I don’t feel like wasting my time, energy or love on Jesus. Some days it feels like I have to cling to every last bit of my time and energy just to keep myself from drowning in the crashing waves of life.

But then I choose…and then I remember… EXTRAVAGANT WASTE IS A DAILY CHOICE

A throw off everything that entangles you – abandon all your desires – strive and strain – run the race – kind of choice.

It doesn’t come naturally. AT. ALL.
It goes against everything our flesh desires.
It shreds every ounce of pride we have hidden in our bones.
It shatters every chain our sin has ever put us in.
It is oh so unnatural.
But wow,

is it beautiful.

In her hands she holds the key to everything.
Her future. Her marriage. Her security.
She holds the most expensive thing that her fragile hands will ever hold.
What she is about to do feels so unnatural. Within her a war is raging and she fears that she is too weak for the discord.
So she paces. She prays.
And then…she chooses.

She enters timidly into the cool room; her head bowed in submission.
“What I am doing? This is ridiculous. I can’t do it.”

She greets him. Their eyes meet and everything in her blooms under his gaze.
She comes alive and she makes up her mind for now and forever.
Without a thought, without a concern for the cost, without a care for her reputation, she takes her everything and pours it on him.

She pours out her future. She pours out her security. She pours out her dreams. She pours out her expensive perfume on him; every drop seeped in love, oozing with worship. It is the most intimate moment of her life.
She smiles and thinks, “Nothing can compare to this.”

But in that perfect moment, her euphoria is suddenly severed by pure indignation. She realizes that she may be the only one in the room who is so willing to give. The men in the room strike her with glances that seem to knock the air out of her lungs.
She gasps and then their words come like daggers.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! How can you be so wasteful, woman? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? This perfume could have been sold so we could help the poor.”

Shame creeps into her heart – a heart that moments ago bled worship. Her first instinct is to flee. She grabs her stone jar to make her exit and she cries…oh, she cries. But then His words come. Oh, they come and they heal her.
“Leave her alone,” he says.  “She has done a beautiful thing to me.”

She stops her retreat. She smiles and bows her head in confidence – not in herself, but in Him. Confidence, not in herself, but in her reckless, abandoned, wasteful choice.

She carries her jar away – BEAUTIFULLY EMPTY – knowing it was the best choice she will ever make.

Mary made a choice to waste herself on Jesus.
“THIS man is my security. He is my future. For now and forever. He is it.”

WASTE. This is what Mary did when she used her perfume to worship Jesus.
She wasted for Him. And He called her waste beautiful.

You have to understand that the world will always call your worship a waste.
Anyone who has not tasted of the sweetness of a life abandoned to Jesus will call the love you pour on Him a loss.
Thoughtless WASTE.

Look at the disciples who condemned her.
“What a waste,” they said.

I can’t say I would have reacted any differently. The perfume that Mary wasted on Jesus would have been equal to a years wages at the time. If someone walked in Breaking Bad style with a suitcase of $30,000 in cash and told you that they were going to burn it…be honest. You would be freaking right out! We would both be right in step with the Disciples (probably with some third degree burns).

“WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING?! You’re wasting it. We could have used that for something GOOD!”

Maybe so…

But I’ve learned that GOOD is always the enemy of the Father’s BEST

Oh God, how many times have I held on with white knuckles to something because I was too afraid of wasting it?

It wasn’t that Mary wasn’t wasting her perfume. She was. She poured it everywhere. Half of it probably ended up on the floor. She wasted it.
But was the point.

Why would Jesus call something that is wasteful, beautiful?
Because real love is wasteful.
Abandoned, surrendered, wholly felt, radical, crazy love is always wasteful.
It is willing to waste label and reputation.
Time and resource.
Possession and dreams.
Love, at its barest and simplest form is about living a life of waste for another. Parents waste their time and their energy to raise children.
Husbands and wives waste their resources and their funds to start life with each other.
Friends waste their late nights praying and talking through tears.
Love is wasteful.

Mary poured and the Disciples saw dollar signs.
But Jesus saw a wasted life.
Mary poured and the Disciples saw wasted funds.
But Jesus saw a perfect love.

Look at what Jesus says about her.
“Leave her alone. She’s done A Beautiful Thing to me”

Oh, how my heart a c h e s to hear those words from my Jesus!
To hear Him say that something I did, or made, or said, or became is beautiful to Him – that something I did moved Him. I live for that.
It makes my heart want to bleed worship the way my Savior bled for me.

My mission in this life is to extravagantly waste myself for Jesus.
It is my daily choice because when I look at the cross I realize that for me to give Him anything less than everything is incongruent.

So I will waste. Without care. Without concern.
I will spend myself at His feet and in His presence.
Even when people come along and say,
“What a waste! Couldn’t you have better used that time doing this? Couldn’t you have better used those gifts doing this?”

No. My answer will always be no.
And this will be my greatest choice.

I live my life for one thing
Poured out as an offering
An offering of worship
To lay my life down

2 thoughts on “A Beautiful Thing

  1. Hannah this post is thought provoking, heart wrenching and simply beautiful. The Holy Spirit has guided your words and hands to produce a most beautiful writing. It reminds us, lovingly rebukes us and ultimately encourages and challenges us to waste our life on the best thing JESUS. Thank you for these words and your obedience in service and ministry.


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