I woke one morning with such an urgency to share the following excerpt from Lioness Arising. I believe it is an urgent and prophetic word for Church leaders and God’s women. I shared this portion with John and he said he wished EVERY church leader could hear it…so here is our attempt. Feel free to re-post and share as you feel led.
Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, (Jesus) said, “Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn’t quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn’t it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.” (Luke 7:43–47)
When we imagine that we are above the need for heart grooming, we start judging others. In judgment we deny others what we ourselves need. This is what happened to Simon. He needed his feet washed. He needed the greeting of peace. He needed the healing of an anointing balm. But since he thought he was above needing these things, he did not offer any of these rituals of greeting and grooming to his guests.
I can’t help but wonder if Jesus has turned his face to the women as he poses a question to the legalistic leaders of our day, asking something like this: “You think the sin of the woman is too great for her to merit acknowledgment, so you ignore her. You imagine she is in some way less than in my charge to present the gospel, but I have highlighted the example of this woman—and thus exonerated women. You imagine Eve’s sin to be greater than Adam’s, and therefore you deny her daughters access to my table, but don’t forget that those who are forgiven much are all the more grateful. A place of honor will be found for these daughters, even if it is by way of washing and anointing my feet.”
Lovely lionesses, it is time we again give our glorious Lord something to brag about. To see this happen, I am willing to wash some feet and have mine washed. Let’s each be willing to do anything or go anywhere if it means Jesus will have reason to marvel when he looks our way. Simon thought this loose woman was falling all over Jesus, but Jesus called her awkward attempts lovely. Don’t worry if your attempts are awkward at first. Just commit to begin. I want us all to make this kind of impression on Jesus so that he would say of us, “I am impressed they have shown me so much love.”
Let’s do something wonderfully significant for our Lord. As we lavish kindness, grooming, and welcome on others, we pour out our adoration on him. Let’s anoint one another for his return and our resurrection. Let’s wash each others feet, even if it is with our tears. Let them fall unhindered until there is enough moisture to wash the dust and filth off the feet of the church. Let’s weep over our own sins and cry over the injustice levied on our sisters and children the world over. If the mercy that has been lavished on you is not enough to reduce you to tears, then allow the cruelty of the plight of captive daughters to move you. Your tears wash the feet of others and magnify our Lord.
(The above is an excerpt from “Lioness Arising: Wake Up and Change Your World,” Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group, 2010.)