"Made of clay
I pour myself out
I don’t have the strength
So Lord I ask, Won’t you break me
The woman with the alabaster jar has to be one of the most well known and loved stories in the Bible. It talks of a woman scorned, who should have been turned away and rejected, in the culture of the day, she was known to be unclean, she was thought to be embarrassing herself, and was a woman. All reasons for her to be forgotten. But she isn't forgotten, she is remembered, and Yeshua said himself that she would be remembered through the generations. For me, this is a beautiful thing which can't be ignored. Yes, she was embraced and accepted by Yeshua, but more than that - she was remembered. Appreciated. Her act was commemorated. Why?
What did she do that was so important for us to remember? Was it simply that she was accepted, where the religious leaders of the day would have rejected her? Was it that she was tenacious enough to reach Yeshua, through all the obstacles in her way? Was it that she washed his feet with her tears? It may be for all these reasons, they are all reason enough to remember her! Her act of outrageous worship was one to learn so much from!
I love that the Bible is full of completely absurd, extremely tenacious women, who definitely fell from the same tree as Jacob - in that they refused to give up until they got what they wanted. This woman would have been pushed, shoved, scorned, she probably had to cover her head and most likely, her face, in order to get anywhere close to Yeshua. She had to hear comments, rude remarks, and would probably have felt judged at every turn she made, but she kept going, because she had to reach his feet. She had to weep, she had to give him something. She had to acknowledge Him as her messiah. And the way she did it, I think it one of the greatest pictures there is in the Bible of how we should interact with our Messiah.
She fell at her His feet. Undone by his presence. She had no words, she had nothing to give. She poured herself out, she wept. She wasn't afraid to give extravagantly, even though all those around her shamed her for doing something so foolish - she smashed open her jar of perfume with reckless abandon, without a second thought, and poured it, unashamedly on the feet of her saviour. She didn't hesitate, she didn't care what she heard, all she wanted was to be completely abandoned to Him. She trusted that she would be accepted, she trusted that He knew her heart. She trusted that He would truly see into her, where others just saw past her.
This is how we should be each day. We are that jar of clay, we need to fall at our messiah's feet, knowing we have nothing to offer, unless it's been made whole by Him. We sometimes don't even have the strength to ask him to break us, but really that's the best prayer we can pray. It's a dangerous prayer, because He'll do it. Being broken isn't easy, but it's truly the most beautiful thing He can do to us, because what comes out of us when we are broken and poured out at His feet, is such a treasured and precious fragrance unto Him, that he will be pleased. He will see into us, like He saw into her, and He will remember.
That is true worship.
Of course He doesn't leave us broken, He doesn't leave things in pieces. He is a God of order, a God of restoration, a God of making all things new, a God of new seasons, a God of second (and more!) chances, a God of compassion and love. He gently breaks us, so he can restore us, and mould into what He always intended us to be. He brings us back to what he purposed for us. He also intended for the woman with the alabaster jar to worship Him, but she had to reach the end of herself before she felt she needed to do it!
We are so good at fixing ourselves too, we patch things up, thinking we're 'healed', only to find a little way down the road that actually, it would have been much better to just ask God to fix us. But often by the time we get round to doing this, the only way to be fixed is to be broken, and reset - like a bone which has healed in the wrong place. But how wonderful that our God is gentle, and will never break a bruised reed, or snuff out a smouldering flame. He is a God of patience, and tenderness. He will walk with us on this journey of brokenness, and carry us if needed.
"So Lord I ask, Won't you break me.."
The question really is - do you dare to ask this?