She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. (Luke 7:38 NRSV Bible)

Have you ever known what it is to have a breaking heart? Have you ever let go and let the tears fall without regard for what others might think? Luke tells us about a woman who did just that. He tells us about a woman whose heart was breaking in two.

Now, we might not have too much sympathy for this woman. After all, she was “a woman of the city . . . a sinner.” You could tell it by the way she dressed, by the way she made herself up, perhaps by her mannerisms. She was not fit company for decent folks. Her place was on the streets, not in the house of a Pharisee. Yet here she was kneeling at the feet of Jesus, weeping, and watering his feet with her tears and using her long hair to wipe them dry. Kissing his feet and anointing them with ointment. Altogether it was quite a pathetic display of emotion. Good people don’t get carried away like that, do they?

If Jesus really were a prophet, thought the Pharisee who was playing host to him that day, he would realize what kind of woman this was, and he wouldn’t even allow her to come near him much less let her kiss his feet. But Jesus made no effort to stop the woman–even though he knew his host disapproved. What’s going on here? Why is Jesus allowing this quite spectacular show of remorse and affection?

Perhaps it is because only Jesus could see this woman’s heart. Only he knew what she was really feeling. Only he knew what had brought her to this place.

Do we allow our heart to be truly seen by God? Yes, God does know everything about us, but we are called to present ourselves openly to God. We are called to confess our brokenheartedness and pain.

Dear God, see my brokenheartedness and pain, and bring me healing in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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