Song Feature: Alabaster Heart
Do you have a song that just gets you…like to the core of who you are?
The second I heard this song, that was what I felt. Like in the pit of my stomach.
Kalley basically pulled the lyrics out of my soul and packaged them so beautifully for the rest of us to hear.
The song isn’t released yet (it’s currently only on YouTube), and after it is, I’m sure she’ll also talk about the story behind this song. BUT until then, I’ll just have to take a few guesses.
In Luke 7, we read about an intimate, holy encounter one courageous, young woman had with Jesus.
In the neighborhood there was an immoral woman of the streets, known to all to be a prostitute. When she heard about Jesus being in Simon’s house, she took an exquisite flask made from alabaster, filled it with the most expensive perfume, went right into the home of the Jewish religious leader, and knelt at the feet of Jesus in front of all the guests. Broken and weeping, she covered his feet with the tears that fell from her face. She kept crying and drying his feet with her long hair. Over and over she kissed Jesus’ feet. Then she opened her flask and anointed his feet with her costly perfume as an act of worship. When Simon saw what was happening, he thought, “This man can’t be a true prophet. If he were really a prophet, he would know what kind of sinful woman is touching him.” Jesus said, “Simon, I have a word for you.” “Go ahead, Teacher. I want to hear it,” he answered. “It’s a story about two men who were deeply in debt. One owed the bank one hundred thousand dollars, and the other only owed ten thousand dollars. When it was obvious that neither of them would be able to repay their debts, the kind banker graciously wrote off the debts and forgave them all that they owed. Tell me, Simon, which of the two debtors would be the most thankful? Which one would love the banker most?” Simon answered, “I suppose it would be the one with the greatest debt forgiven.” “You’re right,” Jesus agreed. Then he spoke to Simon about the woman still weeping at his feet. “Don’t you see this woman kneeling here? She is doing for me what you didn’t bother to do. When I entered your home as your guest, you didn’t think about offering me water to wash the dust off my feet. Yet she came into your home and washed my feet with her many tears and then dried my feet with her hair. You didn’t even welcome me into your home with the customary kiss of greeting, but from the moment I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You didn’t take the time to anoint my head with fragrant oil, but she anointed my head and feet with the finest perfume. She has been forgiven of all her many sins. This is why she has shown me such extravagant love. But those who assume they have very little to be forgiven will love me very little.” Then Jesus said to the woman at his feet, “All your sins are forgiven.” All the dinner guests said among themselves, “Who is the one who can even forgive sins?” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith in me has given you life. Now you may leave and walk in the ways of peace.”
Not only was she brave enough to walk into a home full of men by herself, but she also humbled herself at the feet of the King.
She literally gave everything she had. She broke the jar of perfume that would’ve taken a year or more to save up for and poured it all over Jesus’ head and feet. She kissed his feet, wiping them with her hair.
Do you hear how intimate this experience is? How much closer can you get??
She gave it a l l .
There’s another woman who bowed at Jesus’ feet to worship Him with an alabaster jar of oil. In Matthew 26, Mark 14, and John 12, we read of a similar encounter where Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with costly oil.
“Then Jesus went to Bethany, to the home of Simon, a man Jesus had healed of leprosy. A woman came into the house, holding an alabaster flask filled with fragrant and expensive oil. She walked right up to Jesus, and in a lavish gesture of devotion, she poured out the costly oil, and it cascaded over his head as he was at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were offended. “What a total waste!” they grumbled. “We could have sold it for a great deal of money and given it to the poor.” Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Why are you critical of this woman? She has done a beautiful act of kindness for me. You will always have someone poor whom you can help, but you will not always have me. When she poured the fragrant oil over me, she was preparing my body for burial. I promise you that as this wonderful gospel spreads all over the world, the story of her lavish devotion to me will also be mentioned in memory of her.” Matthew 26: 6-13 TPT
“Now Jesus was in Bethany, in the home of Simon, a man Jesus had healed of leprosy. And as he was reclining at the table, a woman came into the house, holding an alabaster flask. It was filled with the highest quality of fragrant and expensive oil. She walked right up to Jesus, and with a gesture of extreme devotion, she broke the flask and poured out the precious oil over his head. But some were highly indignant when they saw this, and they complained to one another, saying, “What a total waste! It could have been sold for a great sum, and the money could have benefited the poor.” So they scolded her harshly. Jesus said to them, “Leave her alone! Why are you so critical of this woman? She has honored me with this beautiful act of kindness. For you will always have the poor, whom you can help whenever you want, but you will not always have me. When she poured the fragrant oil over me, she was preparing my body in advance of my burial. She has done all that she could to honor me. I promise you that as this wonderful gospel spreads all over the world, the story of her lavish devotion to me will be mentioned in memory of her.” Mark 14:3-9 TPT
Six days before the Passover began, Jesus went back to Bethany, the town where he raised Lazarus from the dead. They had prepared a supper for Jesus. Martha served, and Lazarus and Mary were among those at the table. Mary picked up an alabaster jar filled with nearly a liter of extremely rare and costly perfume—the purest extract of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet. Then she wiped them dry with her long hair. And the fragrance of the costly oil filled the house. But Judas the locksmith, Simon’s son, the betrayer, spoke up and said, “What a waste! We could have sold this perfume for a fortune and given the money to the poor!” (In fact, Judas had no heart for the poor. He only said this because he was a thief and in charge of the money case. He would steal money whenever he wanted from the funds given to support Jesus’ ministry.) Jesus said to Judas, “Leave her alone! She has saved it for the time of my burial. You’ll always have the poor with you; but you won’t always have me.” John 12:1-8 TPT
The most beautiful part of this story is found in the footnotes of Mark 14:3 and John 12:3 in The Passion Translation.
The author says, “This was spikenard (or nard), a spice taken from a plant that grows in northern India near the Himalayas. This costly perfume would have been carried over land to the Middle East. Many believe this jar of spikenard would have cost the average worker a year’s wages. It was a common practice among the Jews to prepare a body for burial with fragrant ointment. John records that it was about twelve ounces of perfume, which would have dripped down all of Jesus’ garments to his feet (John 12:3). This fragrance, usually associated with a king, was upon Jesus’ feet as he stood before his accusers and as the soldiers pierced his feet with a nail. It is possible they would all have smelled the fragrance of this costly perfume.”
Jesus saw the cross a few days out, but found pleasure in the present - in Mary’s humble gesture as she gave everything she had in this incredible act of worship in preparation for His burial.
The disciples saw a woman embarrassing herself and wondered why Jesus patiently waited for her to finish this inconvenient, shameful act.
Mary saw her Savior before her and worshipped Him in the best way she knew how in that moment. Nothing would stop her - not her past, not the men who were mocking her, not anxiety about how she’d pay her bills the next day.
She just gave it a l l and trusted that Jesus would take care of the next step.
Just over here praying for a heart that would trust Him and worship Him like this every single day. Not just when I feel like it or when it’s convenient. Not just when things are going my way. Not just when I’m in a good mood.
I want to give it all every moment of every day.
He’s worthy of that, right?
by: Kalley Heiligenthal
So here it is, my alabaster heart
I’m keeping nothing back from who You are
No hidden treasure veiled by key or lock
You’re a lifetime worth of worship and it’s only just the start
So here it is, my every waking day
The minutes, hours, the years of endless praise
For You’re worthy far beyond all I could say
There’s a lifetime worth of worship in the nuance of Your names
Let it rise like incense
My whole life a fragrance
Every ounce here broken at Your feet
Every breath, an offering
My heart cries, these lungs sing over you, my worthy King of Kings
There it is, Your alabaster cross
Giving all You are for all I’m not
I can’t believe that’s the kind of King You are
How could I not bring a lifetime worth of worship to You God
All my love, all my love, all my love,
You can have it all
All my heart, all my soul, all I own,
You can have it all