I wake up and it is Tuesday morning here in Taipei. When we arrived last night we were both overwhelmed by the damp heat and the sweet welcome we were given. Our needs were attended to with kindness and an awareness of our exhaustion and that we were clueless. The young woman bellhop told me of wonderful markets to go to in perfect English. I admit I don't remember her advice but will seek her out again for her direction. Here, I am completely reliant on the skill of others. I have to accept their kindnesses and be grateful for all of their help. I cannot do anything on my own here, and must accept my limitations and others blessings with an open and loving heart.
Jesus finds himself back in Bethany. He is greeted with a banquet and such incredible tenderness from Mary. She anoints his feet with expensive perfume, wiping his feet with her hair and filling the house and everyone's lungs with the wondrous sweet fragrance. She is criticized by the greedy but Jesus understands her offering. She offers what she has for love of another, for the care and honoring of another. We are asked by God not to count the cost of the kindnesses and honors we receive but to know the sweetness of the heart that offers them. We rely on the care of others, even when we think we stand alone, and we are called to be grateful for the small (and large) blessings we receive.
Today I ask God for complete gratitude. May the exhaustion and fears that can surround us be wiped away by gratitude and love. May we be grateful for need and even more for the people who help us navigate when we are lost and in a new place. May our hearts be ever thankful for the blessings we receive today.