What Tears, Hair, & Oil Have To Teach Us About Letting Go of Perfect.

She snuck in the back door when no one was watching. Then when everyone was distracted with food and talk she made a rush towards his side. When she touched him, she instantly she knew what she had to do…

Give up on trying, wishing, wanting to be perfect.

Everyday now, for countless years, her desire was the same…to be someone different. To change.

But she couldn’t.

Not only was she torn and beat-up in her heart from years of hatred and grief and hard times, but now it was starting to show on the outside. Her young skin was starting to crack and wrinkle, she didn’t care anymore about her appearance, her clothes or her long, thick hair that needed constant tending.

In her effort to become someone else, she had lost everything, including her identity. Now she was just a sinner. (Luke 7:37)

In her hunt to become perfect, to finally scrub herself clean of the dirtiness she felt in her heart and the ugliness that haunted her with every step, decision, and habit, she no longer knew who she was.

But she had heard of Him. The perfect, sinless One.

And tonight she had gathered every last bit of confidence she had, which was almost nothing, and ran to Him like a long-lost daughter.  

Besides the simple alabaster flask of expensive oil, her hands were empty. The oil was all she had, her most expensive possession.  Her hair was straggly and knotted, so was her heart.

This was her final attempt to change. It was risky. She felt unprepared and insignificant. But if this didn’t work, then she was done…


Did you know that the adventure you desire with God is as simple as tears, hair, and oil?

Through her tears, hair, and oil we see how one woman decided to stop wishing, wanting, and trying to be perfect.

This woman discovered and gives us an example of what happens to our life if we decide to let go.

Her Tears:

She came weeping, or as the Message says, “she rained tears on his feet.” (Luke 7:38) This woman, held back nothing from Jesus, she took a risk. She opened herself up completely. She wept vulnerable tears as her heart finally began to let go of all the years of trying to be perfect, hold it all together, and fit in with everyone else. Her tears flooded down her cheeks, soaking the floor and his feet. She didn’t care what anyone else thought…her sin was being washed away.

Tears can symbolize so much- our brokenness, pain, sadness, or desperation. But I believe our watery soaked cheeks represent that our heart is letting go and taking a risk. Tears, when poured out on Jesus’ feet are not a sign of weakness, but bravery.

** How can you become extravagant, uncalculated, and risky in showing your love for Jesus? Where do you need to let go and be vulnerable with Him, instead of worrying about what everyone else will think?

Her Hair:

She wasn’t prepared. She didn’t have it all together. Through her blurry, tear-filled eyes she saw that she was actually washing the dirty, dusty feet of Jesus. What she thought was messy, ugly tears became a gift to her Lord and Savior. Worry, panic, and embarrassment threatened to ruin the moment, but they didn’t stand a chance. Without even a towel to wipe his feet, she realized for the first time that her long, knotted hair would work just as well. She was thankful for what she had today, long hair and unhindered tears. All her life, she had failed to realize that she already had everything she needed to begin a new life of adventure with God.  

** Look around, look in your heart, look in the mirror today. What do you have to offer? You have beauty to offer the world, to give to Jesus, see it today as a gift. Be thankful for what He’s given you and how He’s made you.

Her Oil:

This was the most freedom she had ever experienced! She didn’t want to leave his feet or this tear-stained floor. She didn’t think twice before breaking the alabaster flask of fragrant oil and anointing His feet…and making an absolute mess. That flask represented her most valuable possession. Without it, she would have nothing. She had held onto it through the years, it became her identity, it gave her meaning and worth, when on most days she had none. Today was different though. Today she stopped chasing the perfect moment, she stopped wishing she was someone she was not. She cracked open her jar of expensive oil and without hesitating she dumped it all out on his feet- freely and generously she gave it all away…to Him.

** What brings you identity? What possessions or titles do you cling to? What if you broke it open at the feet of Jesus, giving it all away, trading in your self-made identities for His identity, freedom, and love to flood into your life. It might be messy, but it’s worth it!

When we drink deeply from the grace and mercy of God, receiving His love, we are changed and our search for perfection stops at His feet. We become free to love Him, love ourselves, and love others despite the mess, imperfection, and sin that constantly surround our lives (vs. 47). Our tears, hair, and oil (our mess!) become pure and honest worship to the Father!


Imagine yourself as this woman today…how is your desire to be perfect & prepared keeping you back from truly worshiping Jesus and receiving His extravagant love? 

What uncalculated step do you need to take?

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