Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fair Lady with the Alabaster Flask




A Poem by Adele Hebert

Fair lady with the alabaster flask
How I wish I were there
To smell that fragrance in the air
All through the house
And what a cost A year’s wages
I would not forget that wonderful smell
And who could forget what you did?
Many saw you
Many knew you
Many smelled your precious perfume
Fair lady, I wish I had been there

You took quite a risk fair lady
You were not invited
Nor welcomed
And to enter a room
Full of men
Some were angry to see you there
Some are still angry
Some don’t care

Jesus was not though
He saw you and smiled
He knew why you came
Only a woman could do it
Only a woman would do
It had always been men before
Men prophets, men kings, men men

But suddenly now a woman
The time was right
A woman with some means
Who would buy the best
Who was compelled to come
Who dared to enter
Who dared to take a man’s place
Oh Fair lady, you were so brave

To anoint… the Anointed One
Not for a crown
Not for a title
But for his burial
A life giving sacrifice
For you and me
Fair lady, how did you know?

It was a special task
You broke that alabaster flask
…And it broke your heart
To see your Lord
You loved him so
To feel his skin
Knowing he would die
To smell that sweet fragrance
For his burial
He would have no funeral
Yet he was so alive
Oh fair lady, how could it be?

No singing in your heart
Only tears that night
Uncontrollable quiet tears
Sweet powerful smell
Tears pouring down
Costly ointment poured out
Oh fair lady, I can hardly bear it
Tears mixed with nard
Sweet sad agony
You used your hair
Oh fair lady on your knees

Jesus knew
Your heart and soul
He defended you
Against those men there
Said it would be a memorial
To remember you fair lady
Jesus knew
And so did you
What lay ahead
That’s what was so sad

But it had to be done
Jesus dying was the only way
The ultimate act of love
He loved you fair lady
Thank you for your precious nard
And especially for your tears
May we never forget you…
Mary of Bethany (Jn 12)

Fair lady with the alabaster flask.


Adele Hebert