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Love Is a Waste of Time (Lent Poem)

“Love is a waste of time.”

The best possible waste –
an extravagant gift
with no guarantees.

No measure of success
and a great deal of risk.

Love is a waste
that we all want to have

too much of

running over

flowing freely

wasted on us.

Love is a waste of time –
but I still hope you waste your time on me.

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Today's Scripture readings include this story about a woman wasting a year's worth of perfume on the feet of Jesus. It is one of three stories we have about this Mary. The other two are the death (and return to life) of her brother, and her refusal to leave the presence of Jesus to help her sister prepare dinner.

I think that this trio of stories is worth looking at together. And I think that what we find here is a woman whose relationship with Jesus was characterized by intimacy, and that intimacy gave her a willingness to be judged by others, to let her love be seen as wasteful and extravagant. She defied societal norms. She gave sacrificially. She made herself vulnerable.

I don't believe that love can ever be wasteful, or wasted.
And I think there is much for me to learn from Mary of Bethany.

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