Pop Stars Or Perfume: What Will You Remember?
It’s difficult to imagine leaving our loved ones behind. When we consider the frailty of life, our minds often drift to how people will remember us when we’re gone. When we draw our last breath, will we have lived a life that leaves others with an example they can follow? Thoughts like these become more present when we reflect on the top news story of the week.
On Saturday February 11th, singer Whitney Houston was found dead in the bathtub of her Beverly Hills hotel room. The pop music superstar enjoyed world-wide success early on in her career, selling over 55 million records in the U.S. alone. However, in the last decade it wasn’t her music that made her famous, but her out-of-control behavior. As her inappropriate public antics escalated, she openly admitted to reporters about her daily abuse of cocaine, marijuana, and prescription medication. Her carousing lifestyle took its toll on her coveted voice as well, leaving it raspy and unappealing.
How are people responding to her death? New Jersey governor Chris Christie ordered that all state buildings lower their flags to half-mast to honor the deceased star. Fans are lining up in droves to add to Houston’s shrine outside the church building that will hold her funeral. As sad as it is that Ms. Houston’s future is now out of her hands, is the legacy she left us worthy of our remembrance? Did she give us an example we can benefit from?
Jesus shows us another woman. This woman will never make the front-page news. She will never have a shrine built for her by thousands of fans. However, nobody else in the Bible receives a stronger stamp of divine approval than she does. Just before His crucifixion, this woman approached Jesus with her most valuable possession: a vial of perfume worth over 300 day’s wages which she poured on the head of the Savior. If that seems wasteful, you’re not alone. The disciples complained greatly about her deed. However, Jesus shows us how God viewed her action when He said, “She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her,” (Mark 14:8-9 emph. added).
The reason that Jesus makes such a big deal about this woman’s act is because remembering her legacy will actually improve our lives. Jesus holds her in such high esteem because she did “what she could” with what she had. That’s what our Lord expects of us. We don’t need to be rich and famous to be worth remembering. God has blessed us physically, intellectually, and emotionally. If we just take those blessings and wholly dedicate them to the service of Christ, then we can be like this woman. What are you doing with your talents, your circumstances, and your money that will leave a lasting impression to help people grow closer to Christ? Our legacy can be worth remembering. What will you leave behind for others to follow? By remembering this woman, we can leave a legacy that will help people get to heaven thousands of years after we’re gone.