THE WRITINGS OF RUTH MARTIN
The Preacher's Wife

When I Get Home to Heaven

When I get home to Heaven,
there'll be so much to see,
I'll stand and gaze for ages
at wonders all 'round me.

But this one thing I long to do
as soon as e'er I can:
I want to look on Jesus--
His head, His feet,His hands.

I want to see the nailprints
my Savior bore for me;
His precious flesh, so torn and scarred-
Those scars that set me free.

I would not ask to touch them,
or even to presume
That I, one so unworthy,
should brush those holy wounds.

I wish that I, like Mary,
might fall before Him there.
And wash His feet with teardrops,
And dry them with my hair.

Not having costly perfume
to lavish on Him, then
I'd simply pour out all my love,
and kneel and worship Him.

I'd look into His tender eyes,
His gentle smile to see.
I'd whisper how I love Him
for all He's done for me.

And then throughout Forever,
I"ll sing about His Love,
And tell the wondrous story
in Heavenly courts above.

all rights. ruthrmartin.Oct 2001

Comments from Ruth on When I Get Home To Heaven

Have you ever longed to do something especially nice and thoughtful for someone you loved very much? Something extra-ordinary, that expressed your love more clearly than words?

I am always deeply moved every time I read the account of a woman's worshipful, loving, extravagant expression of her devotion to Jesus, her Lord and Savior.

At the feast in Bethany, one of the most beautiful stories in the Bible takes place. A supper was given to honor Jesus. His disciples were there as was the little family He loved: Lazarus, just recently brought back to life from the cold tomb of death , and his two sisters, Martha and Mary, who loved Jesus . Martha was doing what she did best..happily SERVING the comfort of the other guests and of her Lord, especially. Lazarus was sitting in an honored position at table with his Master in FELLOWSHIP. Mary , as we always find her, is at His feet , WORSHIPPING. (This is a three-fold picture of the relationship of a Christian with the Lord...in service, in fellowship, in worship.)

Mary felt compelled to show her devotion to Jesus in some way. At a loss as to how to truly express her love and gratitude , she brings a personal treasure--a very expensive and precious ointment. We don't know how she came to possess such a luxury,; it doesn't matter. But ..and here I insert my own thoughts of possibility...she probably remembered she had it back at their home. Surely she would not have brought it with her. We know Bethany was a small village and that Mary, like the other residents, naturally walked everywhere she went and the distance between the house where the supper was given and her own home was probably not very far . In my mind, I see her as she suddenly makes the decision to go home and bring the gift back. She hurries, lifts her long skirt above her ankles ,runs over the short distance to the house where she, Martha and Lazarus lived. She rushes inside, locates the alabaster box and clutching it to herself, flies back over the same route she just came.

Breathless from her exertions, she pauses at the edge of the room . Her eyes are drawn to the figure of Jesus as He reclines, as was the custom, at the table. She is standing behind Him, toward His feet, and now, she is somewhat embarrassed at her impulsive action, and wondering just how she will present her gift to the Lord. Then her eyes rest upon His weary feet. Remembering all He had done for her and her family, her heart just overflows with love. She suddenly moves forward, without thought, and trying to remain inconspicuous, she kneels at the feet of Jesus. By now, her eyes are brimming with tears. She breaks the container and leans forward and pours some of the fragrant ointment on His feet and reaching out her hand begins to smooth the precious balm onto the feet of Jesus. But as she does so her tears begin to slip down her face and , to her dismay, they fall on the feet of the Master. Little wet splashes on His tired feet. Frantically, she tries to rub the teardrops away, but she cannot seem to stop her weeping., her tears flow ever faster, and they are mingling with the spikenard she is smoothing onto His feet. By now, people are staring, wondering what in the world is going on. Not having a towel..remember this was an impulsive, extravagant act of love, ..she fumbles at her hair and it falls down around her shoulders in lovely silken cascade. Still weeping,, she begins to wipe the feet of Jesus with her long tresses, drying her tears, spreading the ointment with her hands, wiping her hands on her clothing, pushing her hair back from her face with her scented hands. She is now oblivious to anyone else. She barely notices when several critical comments are aimed at her wastefulness. But she hears Jesus rebuke them as he says,"Let her alone. Against the day of my burying hath she done this." (Remember Mary did not go to the tomb with the other women. It seems she alone had understood what the disciples did not..that Jesus was about to be killed.. This outpouring of love was her burial tribute while He could still savour the devotion with which it was offered.)

Jesus continued by telling the gathering that wherever the Gospel would be preached in the whole world,"this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her."

The Bible says the wonderful fragrance filled the house. I have never forgotten that in my studies I once read that some of the lovely, long-lasting fragrance probably lingered on the Person of Jesus on through His burial. How touching that the perfume of Mary's love gift was there through all His trials, beatings, mocking, crucifixion and burial., reminding Him that somebody loved Him. Imagine..even when He cried in those final hours, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"..even then, that fragrance of love rose in His nostrils over the stench of blood, sweat and death.

As grieving friends wrapped the dead body of the Lord in linen burial cloths, the lingering scent as there. When they carried Him to the tomb. the scent was there. And I have thought, that as the body of Jesus lay in that cold dark tomb, the fragrance of love filled the gloom and chill of His final resting place, that lonely place where no one could go with Him.

And then I thought, THE FIRST BREATH HE DREW INTO HIS RESURRECTED BODY WAS FRAGRANT WITH THE STILL PRESENT SCENT OF LOVE . I wonder? Was a hint of that lovely fragrance upon Him when He rose and left the tomb ?

An after-thought: There is an old saying that one cannot spill perfume without getting some on oneself. Mary had recklessly poured out the precious ointment upon the Person of Jesus, soothing it into His flesh with her hands, spilling it on her clothes, into her long hair, on her own skin . Wherever she went, whenever she moved, whenever she brushed against someone, that same lovely fragrance filled the air. As the friends of Jesus wept and mourned and met together, that fragrance of her Love Offering sweetened the atmosphere. Today, as she moves among us in our imagination , do we catch a fleeting whisper of the scent she lavished upon the Lord that day so long ago?

Our daughter, Debbie, has worn one particular perfume fragrance, Galore, for many years.. I don't know anyone else who wears it so it has become her "signature scent". I think it is the most delightful fragrance I have ever known. I identify the scent with our daughter. It is part of her personality and wherever she goes, that wonderful fragrance accompanies her , ..not heavy, not overpowering but so lovely you want to follow. I wonder if after that memorable occasion, did people think of Mary whenever they caught a breath of spikenard, or saw a broken alabaster box? And remembering, did they think of Jesus? I hope so . .

WRITINGS OF RUTH MARTIN

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