Don’t Miss the Trees for the Forest

Luke 7:38 “As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.”

I wonder what was running through the mind of that “sinful woman” who crashed Simon the Pharisee’s dinner party. It took a lot of courage. Everyone at the table looked down on her, due, no doubt, to her immoral profession.  It took a degree of recklessness. While Jesus was reclining at the table as the invited guest, she—the uninvited one—threw herself at his feet, washing them with her tears, wiping them with her hair, kissing them with her affection. It took love…

Jesus said her actions were motivated by her great love for him. Her overwhelming gratefulness prompted her to respond—right then—in the only way she knew. She didn’t wait for the perfect time or the perfect place. She seized the opportunity to show Jesus her devotion.

Sometimes I miss the trees for the forest. Nope. That’s not a typo. I get so focused on the long-term goal I can miss what’s right in front of me. I set out to write about being more merciful or kind. While I’m crafting my thoughts, I scroll through Facebook and am surprised to see a post from someone who had come down with an unexpected illness while on a missions trip. It strikes me that I had been prompted to pray for this very person that morning. Rather than getting back to my “important work,” I sense a nudge. Take the time to send him a note, telling him you’ve been praying for him. Since it’s someone I rarely communicate with, I feel a bit awkward; I hesitate. Then I think of that “sinful woman.” Her situation was far more awkward and inconvenient than mine. Yet she embraced the moment. She missed neither the trees nor the forest.

On the way to writing about being kind, God gave me the opportunity to put it into practice. And isn’t that what’s it’s all about? The big picture for all of us is to become more like Christ. I don’t want to miss the little saplings he puts in my path to get me there. How about you?

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