Then he (Jesus) turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Look! See this woman kneeling here! When I entered your home, you didn't bother to offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You refused me the customary kiss of greeting, but she has kissed my feet again and again from the time I came in. You neglected the usual courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has covered my feet with rare perfume. Therefore her sins - and they are many - are forgiven, for she loved me much; but one who is forgiven little, shows little love." Luke 7:44-47 (TLB)
Lin Daniels is from Massachusetts. Shortly before she retired from 40 years of teaching physical education, a young student gave her a red pipe cleaner, roughly shaped like a heart. Lin attached it to her clipboard as a reminder of his thoughtfulness. Several years later, it's still there. Whenever Lin looks at that irregularly-shaped heart, she smiles.
Sometimes Lin wonders if God looks at our offerings of love that way. God - the source and giver of all love - could perfectly do anything that we do for God. But Lin suspects that God delights in even our smallest acts of love. I suspect that too.
Throughout scripture, Jesus commends any display of love for him. Jesus praised Mary's devotion as she listened attentively at his feet. (Luke 10:38-42) Upon spotting Zacchaeus' determination to see him, Jesus asked to share a meal with him. (Luke 19:1-10) Jesus affirmed the love of the woman who kissed and anointed his feet. Jesus accepted love, no matter how it was shown.
Whether we give our love by praising God, stopping to admire creation, or helping someone in need, we can offer all we have and all we are to God and graciously respond to those who show us love in big or small ways.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for showing us how to love others. Help us to share your love with the world, in Jesus' name, amen.