Mary of Bethany: My Treasure (Easter reading)

Renee Ann Smith —  March 10, 2013 — 11 Comments

Two sisters, each without a spouse,
Shelter beneath our kindly brother’s roof.
The older fills her days with industry
Cooking and cleaning and caring
For all who come our way
She relishes her title:
Lady of the house

My role, less clear,
Varies day by day
I feel a little lost, I must confess,
Uncertain of the part I’m meant to play.

Sometimes I miss my place by Abba’s side,
His arms that cradled me close to his heart.
My gaze drifts to an alabaster jar,
A gift he gave to me before he died.
“Your dowry,” he said. “For some future time.”
Then with thick fingers pried away the lid
Releasing an aroma redolent
Of spring, new life, sweet flowers,
And I laughed.
“Perfume? Is that not for the bride?
Why will my husband wish this for his own?”
Abba touched my cheek and smiled.

“This perfume, worth a year of labor,
Is but a sign of what I value most.
You are my Spikenard
Precious, fragrant, true

Filling my life with beauty.
The treasure I bestow is you.”

mary of bethany resize

Since brother gives us everything we need,
I save the jar as Abba wished me to
For the special man, my chosen bridegroom, who
Will add onto his house a room for me.
Awaiting that day, I follow sister’s lead
And join her as she serves my brother’s guests.
A pleasant life
And none need ever know
The unmet longings deep within my breast.

One day my brother rushes home to say,
“Make ready! The Teacher
Joins us at our meal.
Bring out the best of everything we have.

Prepare the finest dinner that you can.”

As we obey,
I study this strange man.
What makes my brother seat him
In my father’s chair?
He has a workman’s hands,
A scholar’s brow,
But otherwise an ordinary face.
Then he begins to speak . . .
I slow my pace.
I linger over clearing plate and cup
Eager to be
To soak up
His words that pierce my soul,
Destroy my pride,
And fill my mind with questions.

Who is He?

The Teacher turns,
Holds out his hand.
“Come,” He bids. And I
Leave the crockery in a heap
And make my way,
Amid astonished looks,
To Teacher’s feet.

There, I sit motionless,
Trapped by the knowing
In His eyes

And my heart recognizes Him
As if from a promise
Made long ago.

He is my treasure,
Precious, fragrant, true,
Redolent of life and all things new.
I make my place
At the feet of my Lord.

He is Spikenard.

Inspired by Scripture and born in imagination. A sermon and a Liz Curtis Higgs Bible study set my mind to wondering about Mary. I hope we’ll meet and share out stories in Heaven!

How about you, friends? Which women from Scripture fascinate you? Do you find yourself writing the parts of their stories the Bible keeps private? If you had to find a gift which symbolizes your life, what would it be? Or which great treasures symbolizes Christ for you? 

You’ll find part II of my poem, Mary of Bethany: He Cried, here.

You may want to check out this Bible study on Mary of Bethany from Liz Curtis Higgs. I love her inspirational words!

This week I’m linking up with Miscellany Monday, Monday Musings, Hear It on Sunday, Soli Deo Gloria, Unite @Rich Faith Rising, The Better Mom, Covered in Grace, Modest Mondays, GraceLaced Mondays, Raising Arrows, A Mama’s Story, Mommy Moments, Teach Me Tuesdays, Gratituesdays, Just Write, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Teaching What Is Good, Mom’s Library, Tuesday Tips, What I Learned This Week, Heart and Home, God-Sized Dreams, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Raising Homemakers, Deep Roots at Home, Wise Woman Builds Her House, Tell His Story, Wednesday Walkabout, Word-filled Wednesday, Wisdom Wednesday, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays, Thursday Favorite Things,Thriving ThursdayLittle Things Thursday, Hearts for Home, Legacy Leaver, Thoughtful Thursday, Raising Mighty Arrows, Life in the Comments, Almost Friday Thursday Blog HopThis and That Thursday, Favorite ThingsSimply Link, Faith-filled Friday, Photo Friday, Just for Fun Friday, Fellowship Friday, Friendship Friday, Freedom Friday, Jenny’s Friday Flash Blog, Weekend Whatever, Still Saturday, True Vine Challenge, Sunday Snapshot, The Simple Things, Heart Reflected, Fresh-brewed Sundays, and The Sunday Community.

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

11 responses to Mary of Bethany: My Treasure (Easter reading)

  1. wow! this is an extraordinary piece of writing–

    I wrote from Mary’s standpoint once also–

    It would really be interesting to have a collection of poetry and prose all written from Mary’s view–would make for a lovely collection–

    Thank you!

  2. This gives me shivers throughout! So powerful! Oh the Alabaster one, I can so relate with, my friend! Thanks for linking up today! Shouting rejoices to our Abba!

  3. So beautiful! Love this poem through Mary’s eyes.

    I’m linked up next to you at Growing Home and wanted to say hi. 🙂

  4. That was beautifully written. Thank you for sharing this, it made me see Mary’s role in a different light.

  5. Thank you for stopping by thet2women. I loved this and would love to feature it as a guest post during Easter week, for it goes along with our theme of the women in the Word this year. If you’d be interested, you can email us at

    Looking forward to keeping up with your blog!
    God bless, sue

  6. This was such a lovely post about Mary. I have always loved the story of Mary and Martha. There are so many lessons to learn from this scripture story. I loved this one!

  7. You bring this story to life so beautifully.

  8. Renee, This is absolutely incredible writing! So poignant, it cries out to look to the Master. Thank you.

  9. Thank you for sharing here, ladies! I’ve had fun visiting your blogs and chatting w/ you on FB. Blessings!

  10. Oh this is beautifully written. The thought of Jesus being spikenard … wow.

  11. Hi! I’m visiting from Friendship Friday 🙂 I hope you’ll also join me for my Friday Flash Blog on The Jenny Evolution ( Happy weekend!

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