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Friday, February 17, 2012

Giving and Getting

Alabaster Box

A woman comes to Jesus with the most expensive thing she owns. She has had to work very hard for years to save this up, and yet, she gives it away freely. Life has not been kind to her. She is not concerned about the people staring and mumbling at her or about her. She uses this expensive gift to wash the feet of Jesus. She wants to show Him her love, before He goes away. You know the story of the woman and the alabaster box, but if not, here is a link.


I was a late bloomer, if I ever really did “bloom.” My first serious boyfriend was when I was a freshman / sophomore in college. True love, for a bit, and then it all ended. It ended badly, and during this dramatic ending, I lost custody of a few hundred albums. But that’s another long story for another post.

Relationships cost us something. They cost us time, emotions, money, and sometimes, they even cost us “stuff.”

Being in a relationship, and being committed to maintaining it means that means that you put something of value, something of value to you, “on the line.” You give up something on a hope and a promise. And often, even after the promise is gone, or has been broken, we still hold on to that thin thread of lingering hope.

Relationships always cost us something. Sometimes the cost is high. Sometimes too high, and more than we are willing to pay to stay in them.

What's Left Behind

Despite all these short-comings, relationships are important for us. They help us grow and mature and learn. And, a lot of this learning is about ourselves.

Like the woman with the alabaster box, when we enter into a relationship, we put something “out there” that we cannot easily take back. And, if the relationship ends, we will invariably leave something behind. We leave a piece of our hearts and souls behind. But that’s okay.

The end of a relationship does not really leave a hole or a vacuum, even though it may feel like falling into a dark and bottomless pit. The end leaves a capacity behind, and there is a huge difference.

Once we get through the pain, the tears, sometimes the embarrassment, what we are left with is a greater understanding of ourselves, and a greater capacity to give and receive love, grace, and mercy.

So, cry a bit. Then lick your wounds, stop pining, pick yourself up, and regain your composure because the universe has so much more ahead to fill you to overflowing.

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gi/275112462/sizes/m/in/photostream/

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