While he was eating dinner, a woman came up carrying a bottle of very expensive perfume. Opening the bottle, she poured it on his head….Jesus said, “She did what she could when she could – she pre-anointed my body for burial.”Mark 14:2-8
One of the challenges of being a caregiver is to seek what can be done to bring relief, trying what has worked for others. Surely I can DO SOMETHING to make a difference in helping Don or Dad. And realizing there’s only so much I can do. And so much I can’t. The last several weeks when Dad was growing weaker and so dehydrated, I felt so helpless. Wanting so much more for him, yet able to do less and less. He was a valiant fighter of the cancer and pressed on courageously to the end. Yet all I could do was encourage him to drink by squeezing a small sponge of water to drip into his mouth. I would dab his dry cracked lips with a sponge and put some salve on them. I would gently smooth cream onto his drying hands and feet. And as I did, I thought about the woman, who out of her devotion to Jesus, took her most precious ointment and poured it freely on His feet, anointing them with a mixture of nard and love and wiping them with her hair. I realized I, too, was entrusted with a sacred calling. As I thought of her, I dedicated each of these small acts as a sacred act of love and devotion – anointing his head and lips and hands and feet. Hard as they were, I came to cherish those sacred, holy moments I was privileged to experience.
I am also thankful for the many in the Body who have come alongside and not held back because of what they couldn’t do, but have done what they could, in some very creative ways. Prompted by obedience to God. Prompted by love for my family. Prompted by the Spirit using their gifting and nature and relationship with us. Simple but profound acts anointing us with the ointment mixture of prayers, services and love. And Don, limited in many ways and even in pain himself, has done what he could to make a home for my parents.
I’m also thankful to Dad who left a legacy of doing what he could when he could. His life was one of passion for God leading him to do what he could out of compassion for others.
May I see each daily moment as a sacred opportunity and gift to do what I can – no more, no less, no different than Your calling and enablement. What a privilege You give us, Lord, to experience the holy and profound in the simple and routine moments of life.