My alabaster perfume jar experience landed me in a rich encounter with God. One that has left me with a deeper appreciation for his love and kindness. The story that I am about to share with you happened last year. My goal is to encourage you that brokenness and wholeness can happen at the same time. I want to encourage you that God cherishes you in both situations and He is with you to pick you up:
My alabaster perfume jar
I stood before him, heart in hand, tears in my eyes. I looked down at my heart. A hundred pieces lay in my hands. It was a mess. This heart was all of me, everything. It was the opposite of whole yet I felt a wholeness in my brokenness. (For another of my revelations on brokenness read here and read here.)
Tears continued to fill my eyes. Jesus, my heart is broken, I whispered barely getting the words out amidst my tears. A gentle touch to my face, caused me to look up into eyes of love and tenderness as Jesus replied, It’s ok. I love mess. I love broken. Broken means vulnerable, open. There are no places to hide in brokenness. It is the place that releases the most beauty and the most fragrance.
I looked into his eyes. His eyes looked into mine. I was safe in my state of vulnerability and brokenness. But, Jesus was not finished. He reached out his hands to take my heart while pulling me into an embrace. Your life is the alabaster perfume jar poured out on my feet. A living sacrifice of worship. I love your love for me. I love your faithfulness to me. I love you pouring yourself out to me.
As Jesus spoke these words to my spirit, I found myself teleported to that moment where the woman anointed Jesus’ feet before all the religious leaders with her alabaster perfume jar. She washed his feet with her tears. She anointed his feet with perfume and dried his feet with her hair. She came with all she had, bringing him her brokenness and vulnerability.
This woman knew Jesus was the Messiah. Her heart was in pieces, still, she came. Her alabaster perfume jar was more than perfume. It was also her broken, vulnerable heart which ministered deeply to Jesus’ heart. His heart overflowed with love and compassion towards her. This woman was more whole than the religious leaders watching her in horror and judgment.
How can she be more whole than those hiding behind superiority, religion, and facades? Simple, really. They were covering the truth of the state of their hearts; she faced it head on. In that moment, all she cared about was Jesus. The opinions of others had dwindled to a distant background noise. The only opinion she cared for was Jesus’.
Facing life head on
The only way to live a full life is in that place of vulnerability and brokenness. Yes, Papa will put the broken pieces of our heart together. That is a given. What we so often shy away from is the reality that we are people with brokenness. It’s ok to be broken and not have an answer to everything. It’s ok to be vulnerable and tender. It means you are living. Your life can be like that alabaster perfume jar – a life poured out to God, a living sacrifice of trust and worship to Him.
Vulnerability and brokenness prove that your heart is a heart of flesh. A heart of stone comes from years of numbing ourselves to the true state of our heart; it comes from suppressing and avoiding brokenness. Sure, it hurts like crazy. Yes, we are going to be seesawing between laughter one moment and tears the next. But, you are living with a heart that beats deeply with the heart of the Father.
The place that Jesus lives
As I listened to Jesus, his hands wiped the tears from my eyes. He whispered I don’t live in your mind. I live in your heart. Your heart is where I have taken up residence. From the places of the heart, the mind comes into alignment making you more wholehearted and aligned with my truth. I live in your heart. Your heart is where I talk to you about the secret things, those things hidden from you. In the garden that is your heart, I walk with you in the refreshing cool breeze of the Holy Spirit and the protection of the Father. Vulnerability with me is safe.
I listened to his words. The storms in my heart settled into a calm state. I continued to leak tears but I knew that they were tears of tenderness from a heart being intimately ministered to by one who is more loving and true than any person I have ever met. After all, he loves the alabaster perfume jar. To Jesus, this is a precious moment of love, surrender, and trust.
Oh, how easy he is to trust, in this place. I can trust him with my heart, my life. I can wear my heart on my sleeve before him because he takes tender care of it. (For more posts on trusting God read here and here.)
Trusting God with vulnerability
Should we be afraid of vulnerability? With the wrong people, yes. With Jesus, no. Each time we are vulnerable with Jesus, we position ourselves for another God encounter. We don’t know what aspect of his character we are about to see, but the excitement is greater than the anticipation. This is what living for Christ means. To be vulnerable with our hearts so that we can encounter his deep unfailing love. From that place, the wellsprings of life flow out of our hearts to be an answer to a lost and even more broken world.
Within our hearts, we carry the answer the world needs. We carry the very life and presence of the Father. We are an alabaster perfume jar in his hands. We get to share the raw, real truth of an imperfect person living a messy, imperfect life with a God who is all love and “perfection”. He takes us, the alabaster perfume jar, and pours us out into a world that needs to be loved, cherished and saturated with His heart.
Am I afraid of vulnerability? No. Vulnerability is the key to unlocking deep wells of joy in my life. I’ll face any pain and brokenness that life throws at me or that is in my heart because I am determined to have all and see all of Him.
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