Recently I boarded a plan in Houston to make my way home to San Diego. I’d spent five, luxurious days loving on some of my children and being loved on by them. My eldest son, Benjamin and daughter-in-love, Jen; my nieces Lauren and Emily and her husband Mike and their new, little bundle of loveliness, Hazel Rose. I now have officially dubbed her “The Hazel Rose of Texas”. I had an aisle seat, so no dark abyss to sink my eyes into. Just as well. I closed them and basked in the sweet memories of their presence in my life. Truth is, I’d been starving for them and was reminded of why that was so. They’re wonderful. We didn’t go and do. We just spent time together. We sat on a patchwork quilt in an oak filled park. I even found an empty swing and claimed it for my own for a little while.  We lingered.  We lingered around the dining table in meaningful conversations; for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  And every gaze I had on them, one at a time, was like soaking fresh water into a dry and neglected sponge.  I was being renewed, one second at a time.

I think that sometimes – well, as a matter of fact more often than not, we are like that with Christ Jesus. We get so busy in the details of our lives we don’t take time out to linger with Him. Our sponge needs a good soaking in the presence of His Word and un-interrupted time lingering at the table with Him in meaningful conversations.

I focus now on the calendar and am mindful that in a matter of days we will be celebrating my favorite of all celebrations, Easter.  A closer look into the Scriptures and I find myself concentrating on one event that took place just a short time before Jesus’ triumphant entrance

into Jerusalem. An ordinary dinner party with an extraordinary cast of characters.  There were just a few friends there.  Significant ones, indeed.  It was held in the home of a man named Simon. Once a leper, but now an ex-leper. Because He met Jesus. Lazarus was there, too. Once a dead man, but now and ex-dead man. All because of Jesus. And a disciple, named Judas. Most of us know what he was all about. And then a set of sisters; Martha and Mary. But, right now my mind lands on Mary. “Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair.  The house was filled with fragrance of the perfume.”  John 12:3 This amazing, humble sacrifice of Mary describes the lavish nature of her affection for Jesus, her sanctified loved for Him.  She lingered at His feet. Mary knew the importance of lingering with Jesus.  She gave Him her best. Her best of perfume, her best of time and her best attention.  Because He gives His best for her.

I guess the million-dollar question is, what’s the state of your sponge?