Mary…sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said.
In the Victorian days of Britain, when my favorite author, Jane Austen, lived, friends routinely gathered to share their lives over an unhurried cup of tea. According to Julie Loree Peterson's book, Treasuring the Gift of Teatime, Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, is credited with instituting the "ritual" of afternoon tea. She frequently experienced a "sinking feeling" in the late afternoon, so to "buoy" her hunger and state of mind, she began taking tea and cakes every day at five o'clock, inviting friends to join her.
Back in the 1950's and 60's my mom's generation also gathered with friends at least a couple of times a week, calling their little daytime soirees "coffee clutches". Life was slower than; folks' schedules weren't so cluttered, and friendships were easier to maintain.
But time is a rare commodity these days; we never seem to have enough hours in a day. Therefore, many of us have learned to develop friendships on the run. My good pal, Lynn and I, have even run errands together, trying to fit friendship in wherever we can. Sharing those little snippets of time is fine every once in awhile, but our friendship will never deepen if that is the only time we spend together. Yet, I can't help but wonder if that isn't the way we experience friendship with the Savior… on the run?
In order to develop meaningful friendships, we need time, uninterrupted, quality time. Time gives us the freedom to let our guard down and share what's on our hearts. Time gives us the opportunity to get past all the surface stuff to talk about things that really matter. Time provides us a chance to listen—to really listen to what our friend has to say. There is really nothing like a precious friend who is willing to carve out time amid her busy day to sit and chat with us on the phone, or better yet, over a cup of tea!
That's the kind of friendship Jesus had in Mary. There was nothing hurried about their time together. When He spoke… she listened.And when her heart was heavy… He wept. The time she carved out to spend at His feet not only deepened her knowledge of Him, it gave her the ability to hear His heart in ways that others completely missed.
As Jesus faced those grueling final days leading up to the Cross, it was Mary alone who seemed to grasp the heaviness of what lay ahead of Him. Her sensitivity led her to lavish on Him the gift of pure nard, a rare and costly perfume. Its scent may have even lingered with Him as He hung dying.
Just as pure nard was a rare commodity in Mary's day, time is a rare commodity in ours. Yet, Mary willingly and joyfully poured out what was valuable to her. Are you willing to sacrifice the time God has given to you to have the kind of friendship with the Savior that Mary had?
That's the kind of friendship I want with You, Lord. Help me to willingly and joyfully carve out time to sit at Your feet today and all the days ever after!