A few summers ago, I was up early, reading and coffee-ing - a favorite way to spend my mornings - and I came across a particular passage of scripture that was a jolt to my soul. Ever have moments like that? This one was so clear and vivd. Ironically, it also happened to be a very familiar verse that I had read many many times before. Isn’t that like God? Taking the familiar and making it new?!
John 12 captures the interaction of Jesus and friends at the home of Mary and Martha as they prepare to have a meal together. Mary is compelled to take a jar of Alabaster - which would have been filled with expensive fragrant oil - break it and wash Jesus’ feet with the contents (this would have been a symbolic gesture of service and ultimately preparation for His journey to the Cross) Afterward, it says: “The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume”
As I read over those simple words, the imagery of this beautiful and extravagant expression of love, gratitude and service broke something open inside of me. In those few moments God breathed a fresh purpose and the beginnings of a crazy new adventure in my life by revealing through this poignant exchange what it means to steward well what we have been given. Fragrance filling the house…the aroma of loving kindness…service that often is costly.
Over the years, we have had the privilege of owning and renovating several homes, and with each space I have truly poured my heart and soul into creating something very special for my family. Each place has had its own story. A narrative that was born out of whatever God seemed to be calling us to at that particular place and time. But no matter the space or design or location, PEOPLE where always intimately a part of said space.
Oddly, it never quite felt “intentional” but simply the way our quirky family journeyed. If some one needed a place to stay or live or sleep or have a rehearsal dinner or start a small company or weep over loss or celebrate new life…our doors tended to open to whomever was knocking at the time.
Alabaster was born out of this very spirit.