A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 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.

Luke 7:37-38


Adapted from a Living Room devotional – August 2011

How this woman must have loved Jesus! How grateful she must have been for him! The Bible says she was a sinful woman. Promiscuous, maybe a prostitute.

Physician and author Gabor Maté worked on the Vancouver Downtown Eastside, treating addicts and prostitutes. He tells how almost all his woman patients told him about the abuse and neglect they suffered as they were growing up. He talks about the great hunger these people have for “something,” though in most cases they know not what. And, though Maté himself is not a Christian, he identifies this as a hunger for God. He says there is a God-shaped void, or hole, inside these troubled people, a hole they seek to fill through alcohol, drugs and promiscuity.

Maté understands this hunger because he himself has an addiction of sorts. He can’t keep himself from buying classical music CD’s, though he has more than he could ever listen to.

Do you have such a hunger? On some level, are you able to put yourself in the place of the woman in this story?

I believe she must have felt unworthy. Think of how much she must have hungered for love. Real love, not the physical desires she gave into! Maybe she didn’t even know that the kind of love Jesus showed her was possible. Maybe she didn’t even know that this is what she had longed for all along. She was overwhelmed.

When you were a young child, were you ever separated from your mother for a long time? You might have cried with relief when she returned. Tears at being re-united with someone who loves you and could care for you. I believe those are the kind of tears this woman had.

I believe she found forgiveness for her sins, but also a healing. She realized that Someone wonderful loved her and cared for her. You could find healing too when you open yourself to Christ’s love and let him fill yourself with it.

Are you hungry? Do you feel as though you have a hole or loneliness inside that you don’t know how to fill? Remember Christ’s words in John 6:35.

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”