I came to love my Lord on a linoleum floor, and I’m beginning to meet other women who are like me in this, those whose darkest moments were ruptured by light. The memory is seared into me so deeply that I can close my eyes and be there again in the first moment I knew Jesus loved me.
This is why I close my eyes in worship. I’m getting back in the floor to meet my love there, my Jesus.
As I matured in faith, I read specifically of two other women in Scripture who share my first name, Mary, not to mention Mary, Christ’s mother.
It’s no wonder that throughout history the majority of the church has taken the characters Mary of Bethany and Mary Magdelene and combined them into one. We can thank a 13th century pope for most of that. I came to know Mary under this understanding, unable to peel the two apart. One wept at Jesus’ feet and washed Him intimately with her hair, tears, and perfume. She was forgiven much because she loved much. She anointed Jesus. Imagine! One saw Him bring her brother back to life and sat at His feet because she knew the “one thing.” Mary Magdelene also stood with Jesus’ blessed mother at the foot of the cross and was the message bearer to the rest of humanity that Christ is risen.
Whether or not my understanding of Mary Magdelene is sprinkled with a little Mary of Bethany isn’t my main concern. I have come to love something incredible of both women, something I share in common with them, something that anchors me.
Both Marys loved the floor; they loved His presence; they loved the feet of our Lord.
The memory seared into me from the warm patch of sun on the linoleum is what I call a “hope marker.” If I were a painter, I would paint floors on canvas. If I were into building ebenezers, I would be one who hammered nails into floors. Maybe this why I love the dirt, too, the place to break ground and plant seeds. It’s the low place. It’s how I know what it means to be poor in spirit.
It’s a technicolor knowledge.
I am nothing without my Lord, and I am everything with Him.
Only the floor can tell me this. If I were at the low place, below His voice in the Sermon on the Mount, I would lay down there and know it: I can’t accomplish the things Christ has requested of me, except there in the low place is the very moment He enters me. It’s my most fertile place, the broken ground of me.
The poor in spirit know the only way to be filled, the way of having nothing left inside, the empty way. This is why the poor in spirit will inherit the kingdom. They’re the ones who come to know the King.
Think back to your hope markers. I believe the low places are some of the most important parts of your story. Even if you write it anonymously at first, it may encourage others more than you ever know. Tell us then what is the empty moment when you met our Lord? What is your hope marker?