Mary took a pound of costly perfume
           made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet,
           and wiped them with her hair.
           The house was filled
           with the fragrance of the perfume.

                           —John 12.3

Mary Christ, you who have met me before
in the valley of the shadow of death,
you kneel in perfect compassion,
join me in my sorrow
and soothe me in my pain.
These feet soon pierced you heal
with balm before the wound;
you bless, and teach the Teacher
how to bless his dear ones’ feet.
The house is filled like costly incense
with the fragrance of your love.
Christ Mary, your heart broken
like a jar, poured out like oil,
drying my feet, soon lashed,
with your hair,
my suffering now borne in your flesh,
I die in your arms and
am reborn, new, and washed.
Mary Christ,
with the laying on
of hands and hair, your bittersweet
baptismal flood of tears,
with your holy spirit of love
you bless me now
to go to my cross,
to bear love and its heartbreaking cost,
and send me forth, your Beloved,
and finally now your
Anointed One.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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