India, you are a wild and contrasting country: ancient and modern, beautiful and dreadful, kind and indifferent, wealthy and poor. I never imagined you would infect me like you have. The smells, the culture, the people…India, you are an intoxicating mix of what makes life beautiful and what makes life hard, harsh, and cruel. In an unfair twist, in my western I- know- better ignorance, I am slightly shocked by the impact you have had on me.
As I prepared to visit you, I prayed for the Lord’s strength and love to invade my soul. Lord, fill me with Your passion and desire for this land 6,000 miles away. That is a dangerous prayer. Love is always dangerous…rarely safe. I was not prepared for the invading, fierce army of love that the Lord bestowed upon me. My heart will never be the same.
The danger comes not in the denial of the prayer, but in the very giving of my request…the imparting of the love desired. I am reminded of the conversation between Susan and Mr. Beaver in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…
“Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
You, precious India, were so ready to receive His love. Hurting people needing to hear the good news graciously surrendered pain and fear. Precious sons and daughters were welcomed home. Orphans found homes and families. I found you.
And that is the danger. The needs of so many are crushing. To have eyes to see and the love to feel left me feeling small, insignificant. What could I do? How could I ever make a difference in the midst of so many struggles?
So in my emptiness, as I searched the scriptures, I was reminded of the familiar story of Mary from Bethany and her anointing of Jesus in Mark 14. The religious leaders were harshly rebuking her for wasting expensive perfume, for her act of worship.
“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” 6-8
The passage came alive to me and anointed my hurting heart. She did what she could. Jesus, those words spoke life into me and brought me back. You saw me where I was and called my name. You brought me to India. You arranged each and every encounter and ordained all the words spoken. Precious Savior, thank you!
Oh, India! You wrecked me! In the best way possible, I am not who I was. You have whetted my appetite to do what I can with what I have been given. I can do what I can. I have tasted and seen the goodness of God in action. I love you, India…a gift of answered prayer. I took a risk on loving you. It was the best risk to take. At all times, bet on love, because love wins. Always!
10 thoughts on “She did.”
This is truly one of my favorite Bible accounts and Jesus’ words speak volumes to my heart. When I am feeling overwhelmed at the huge needs. When I am feeling inadequate. All He asks is to do that I can in His strength.
Thanks for your post, Melissa. I have heard so many stories of how a missions experience can rock your world–sounds like it did!!
It really did Jeanne! This story, especially with the holidays approaching, is such a great reminder to sit in His presence and do what you can 💜
This was a beautiful post. I was wondering how things went for you. What a life-changing time you had! Thank you for sharing the scripture about the woman anointing Jesus with perfume. It was just what I needed at this time in my life. Thank you sweet sister!
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God is so ready to give…always and abundantly! Thank you for your comments ❤
Melissa, what a gift with words you have. It’s like I can “feel” what is exploding from your heart! Thank you for sharing how God worked in and through your time in India. I’d say Ephesians 3:20 answered prayer. And I know, having been to Israel with my daughter, having your child with you makes it all the richer and fuller!! When we surrender our will to His and serve the widows and orphans, the least and the lost, God does something inexplicable and life-transforming in our hearts. And I can see that He has certainly worked that in your heart powerfully and beautifully.
God certainly has worked inexplicable and life changing!!! Thank you for your kind words and your faithful prayers.
So grateful for your post, Melissa. How we need each other in this life on this planet! SDWSC! Shedidwhatshecould.com. Bless you for doing what you can.
Thank you Elisa! Your book, She Did What She Could, has been such an important part of this revelation.
Oh, Melissa… I wonder if we share a heart and brain? For you to include your love for India, Narnia, and that passage about Mary of Bethany (one of my favorites), I’m pretty sure we’re sisters. 😉
Thanks for your encouraging email to Melissa. You’ve encouraged my heart and fueled my passion today!
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Wow! Thank you! I am so excited to be going back. There is such a vast need and I am so excited to see such attention to given to such a soft spot in my heart. ♡♡♡