She did what she could

I have been working through a study of women of the Bible with my Mom to Mom group at church. As we work through the New Testament, I've found myself realizing what an important role Christ gave women. They were also his disciplines and faithful followers--and they weren't just bearing children and washing linens--they were leaders.

In Mark 14:1-9, it is just before Passover. Jesus knows he will soon be arrested and killed as a criminal. There is chatter all around of chief priests and scribes looking for a way to arrest him--but they can't do it during Passover--people might riot. It would be very bad politically.

Alex Scott: She did what she could. 
Jesus is in Bethany. And a woman named Mary (referred to as Mary of Bethany) comes to him. This Mary is the sister of Martha--the biblical equivalent Martha Stewart--a doer and a perfectionist in every way. And also the sister of Lazarus, who was raised from the dead.  Mary brings nard--a very, very expensive perfume and pours the entire jar on Jesus' head. Those at the dinner table scold and mock Mary--saying, that nard--that could have been sold to feed the poor. Why waste it? (good point, right?)

Jesus stops the the haters, saying, "Let her alone: why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to then whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial."

Mary knew Jesus would die. She believed Jesus was her Savior. She loved him. And she did what she could--Mary could not stop his arrest. Mary, on her own, could not stop Jesus from dying on the cross. She couldn't. But she could honor his life and his body by anointing him while he was alive. Mary stood up--in the face of compainers and naysayers to do what she could.

I have the words "She did what she could" written about four hundred times in my journal. And those words have become a daily meditation for me. Our world is overwhelming. The news of a 6-year-old boy, who was starved and abused by his parents, brings the "overwhelm" to the forefront. Our systems are broken. People are broken. Evil is everywhere. And there is nothing we can do.

But there is. We cannot do everything. I cannot do everything. I am powerless to stop another child from being diagnosed with cancer--I cannot carry the world on my shoulders. None of us can--we simply can't.

And that is okay.

Because we can all do what we can. Imagine if everyday, everyone woke up and said, "Today I am going to do what I can."

And if "what I can," is holding the door for someone at Wawa or saying Good Morning to our neighbor or smiling at a stranger or praying for the alleviation of suffering or simply loving our husband and children as best we can.  What if we all gave a dollar to every Lemonade Stand or Salvation Army volunteer? What if we all just remembered to put our water bottle in the recycling bin instead of the trash?

If just doing what we can--not doing everything we can--moves us to action instead of paralyzing us into cynicism--maybe we will hold the world up together, maybe one more child will be saved from an abusive family and maybe one more parent will stop hurting their child and maybe, just maybe we will work together to find a cure for cancer.

All because, we did what we could.


  1. Trish, you rock my bobbisocks! l have always tried to "do what l can" it's good to know that someone else knows that it's enough...xoxo


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