A couple of weeks ago in a prayer meeting somebody called me a cardigan. And I wasn’t offended! I had been sharing how I felt my health limitations combined with recent demands on my time and energy had left me feeling deeply unsettled. I couldn’t clearly see what my role was to be going forward, in church particularly, where other changes are taking place. Good, exciting changes, but changes that we are having to adapt to. At the moment that I was sharing another friend entered the room and took off her coat to reveal that she had been wearing her cardigan inside out all morning. We laughed with her, but then another friend turned to me and said, ‘You are like that cardigan. Even though it looks a bit different being inside out, it still works. It still kept her warm.’ It really encouraged me. Sometimes we don’t feel we are the same people when circumstances mean we can’t do what we used to do. But God might just be turning us inside out, showing others a different aspect of us, changing our own perspective. We are still cardigans!
I am reading a book at the moment, which I will be doing a fuller review on in time. Valuable, by Liz Carter, will be published in June 2023, and I an honored to be reading a pre-publication copy. One of the main messages the book tackles is the whole issue of ‘usefulness’. The narrative that we accept that says that somehow our value to others, and even to God Himself, is tied up with how useful we are. What we can do or achieve. When in fact God sees us as valuable even in our weakness and uselessness. It is a great book and has made me think deeply as to how we are so quick to judge others by their jobs, callings or giftings. Rather than to value them as God does, just for being them.
A Good Work
In the week leading up to Easter I re-read the story of Christ’s passion. This time as I was reading Matthew’s account one verse hit me like never before. The story is beautiful and probably familiar (Matthew 26 : 6 -13) Within hours of Jesus’ betrayal and arrest, whilst He is at the home of Simon the Leper, a woman comes with an alabaster jar of costly perfume and pours it all over Him. It is an act of adoration and worship. An act of love, the fragrance of which stayed with Jesus as He faced the agony of rejection and crucifixion. But it was Jesus’ words that stood out to me anew. When His disciples criticised her extravagant waste, He said “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me.” ( Matthew 26:10)
The word ‘WORK’ leapt out of the page. I even went back to the Greek, and yes the word Jesus used of that woman’s act of worship, was the word ergon – that means work, task, employment, accomplishment. How often do we believe we have to do some great work for Christ, to be useful and fruitful to make Him pleased with us. All that woman did was pour perfume and love all over Him. Sure it was costly, and sacrificial, but it was her genuine heartfelt response to her Saviour. And He honoured her for it.
Image courtesy of https://the-alabaster-jar.com/
Pour out our Love
It is still mind blowing to me that Jesus called her love act ‘work’. And it is something that I will have to continue to meditate on in the days going forward. As I think about who I am, what I can do or not do. What roles I will take going forward. Perhaps the very best work I can do for Jesus is to just sit at His feet and pour my love over Him. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that I should do nothing else. But that what I do actually do for Him should flow out of that love response, rather than the quest for approval. Maybe, just maybe, it is enough for Him, for me to worship and adore Him, and to revel in His love for me. It is good work enough.
Joy Margetts is a published author and blogger. Her books are works of Christian Historical fiction. Set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, they tell stories of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.
‘The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, was published by Instant Apostle on 22 July 2022
More information on Joy, and her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com