Written on March 23, 2016. By Shari Norvell
Days are amazing things, for they each carry a secret inside awaiting discovery. Every one cloak-and-daggered until what is hidden inside is outed for each occupant to see and seize. Troves of treasure packed high and wide again and again. They can be a blur or a beauty as one seams into the next. Full to the brim as we let them begin, they stealth and surprise. Some days seem topsy turvy, but those days are simply just aching to birth what they carry.
Full is the word I would use for yesters day, not because of its busy and bustle, but it’s dream and destiny. For in the middle of math and music, a pinked and perfect little lady came from the inside out. Swiftly I traded my teacher cap for midwife scrubs and headed to greet her. The first paragraphs of her earth side story are for the tale and telling of her family, and so I will share simply something that caught me in the catching and held me in the holding.
One of my favorite moments in the arrival of life is when a babe is nestled in mommy’s arms, with daddy’s undistracted gaze upon them both. With tender fingers dipped in oil and lips bathed in prayer, I gingerly enter the scene and smear and smudge the little with oils.
I love the meaning and the momentous of it. And yesterday, it caught me in contentment. Today’s sunset brings the arrival of Purim, the holiday of inside-out. As I daubed frankincense upon the crown of her head, I thought of the Jewish people facing extinction and the crown built of trust they each chose to cast before Him for their rescue and rest. As I dabbed it down her spine, I saw Mordecai refusing to bend and bow to Haman, declaring that honor as God’s alone.
With myrrh I touched the cord that once held her and sealed all inside for its own arrival day. Myrrh is an oil of remembrance, a signet of Who she is of is ever upon her heart (and cute coming belly button). I thought of Esther, six months soaked in myrrh. I thought of how when oil comes in contact with something, it saturates to the core and permeates its entirety.
And today, as I prepare my me for Purim, diffusing frankincense and myrrh, I picture Esther in a room that seemed too large, encompassed in light. The light that comes and courses gently and soundlessly when oil is set aglow. In radiance she may have read Mordecai’s words to her. In his “such a time as this” implore was the word ‘a^mar’, the very word spoken and recorded in Genesis when God said, “Let there be light.”
As she pondered that invitation, she may have glanced upon the greenish-yellow oil in a holder near by. She may have wondered to a window, as her heart beat out its RSVP and seen an olive tree, tall and majestic. She was alone yet surrounded, just as olive trees are as they grow. With roots tremendously spread , extended to absorb ample amounts of moisture, olive trees are planted together, yet set apart, allowing plenty of space for light to reach their crowns, allowing for the best ripening of fruit.
Upon a table there may have been a bowl of olives, for her pleasure. Did they catch her eye and her breath as she recognized that to become oil, to release the great gift inside, they needed to be crushed, with every original appearance changed? Was that when yes escaped quicker than she knew it would come?
In the deep night of her Gethsemane (which means “oil press”) did she cry out for the cup to pass, even though she knew her destiny was to empty it? Was it then that she realized that her original form had limits, but open like a burst berry, inside-out, fullness clung close? That there He rested upon her like oil upon altar and shield, set apart but not separated? In the open but not exposed?
Her yes brought the yield to become the oil, the ‘shemen’. The lavish, fertile ointment, wild and fruitful. Shining and pure. The “let there be light” for the such a time as then, so we would be the choice part for the such a time as now.
Esther chose spent over spared. In her inside and her out. “Fat, thick and covered” as ‘shemen’ is defined. Fattened by the mystery of His word. Thickened by indulging in good to others, in His goodness. And covered as she revealed to the world secrets till then buried and beckoning. For that is what anointing is. It is a verb to live, not a noun to chase.
For such a time as this! Happy Purim!
Let Pappa reveal to you something you have wanted to be spared from instead of spent for. Then let Him anoint you. Open you lamp, your heart to be filled to overflow and then spend till spent. For He will be right there, to lavish again, until you shine with His sheen.