Explore My News,
Thoughts & Inspiration

It was hot. The windows were wide open, sun pouring in, extending a friendly invitation for the breeze to blow in and come join it. 

It joined. 

The music was loud and blaring, the kind that makes you lose your hearing for a week afterwards. The best kind. Despite the volume, it was beautiful symphony, running together like sweet water. I could feel the music seeping far into the cracks of my soul; I could feel it healing and restoring with every chord played, every word sung. 

I didn’t understand a word. But that was the best part, wasn’t it? 

The Race has challenged my views on worship in so many ways, and something happened recently that has echoed a lot of what I’ve learned (and am still growing in!).

Our first Sunday here in the DR, we got the opportunity to go to a local Haitian church. It was amazing. Worship was SO loud and SO good. Like I said, I had no idea what the heck anyone was singing but I could feel His presence so tangibly. It was like a reality check, but the best kind. I kept asking myself, “how is this my life?”.

The pastor who preached spoke in Creole so I couldn’t understand him, but I found out that he was preaching on Mark 14. When I turned there in my bible, the first section I saw was on the woman who poured out the jar of expensive perfume. To this day, I don’t know if the pastor even preached on that section of the chapter, but I went ahead and studied it anyways. 

Basically, a woman (Mary) came with a very expensive alabaster jar of perfume, broke it, and poured it on Jesus. The people watching were indignant because it was worth a lot and they wanted to put it to better use, like sell it and give the money to the poor (or so they said). But Jesus was pleased and grateful, saying that what this woman did was beautiful. 

I noticed some things about this woman’s example: 

  • She had to break the jar in order to pour it on Jesus. I love this because it means this wasn’t an easy or “clean” act. She couldn’t just unscrew a lid, pour a little, screw the lid back on and then be done. She had to consciously choose to break that lid open, knowing once she had that it all had to be poured out. This was an all or nothing kind of thing.
  • This woman wasn’t deterred by a fear of man. She was unconcerned with what the world so highly valued. All she cared about was freely worshipping her King. Her act was sacrificial and unselfish. 
  • Pouring out the perfume meant a strong aroma that stayed with Jesus and in that room for days. Her worship changed that atmosphere and left behind an undeniable sweet aroma. 

Before the Race, I led worship at my church. I fell heavily into a performance mindset when it came to worship; I thought worship was just singing songs and lifting your hands and standing on a stage. I did know that making space for the Spirit to move in worship was important, so I don’t want to negate that. But, as I reflect, I also know that I didn’t make this my biggest priority; my desire for others to perceive me in a good light was often the heaviest influence.

The Race has shown me so many other sides to worship, whether that’s gratitude or thanksgiving, praying, art, flowing in the spirit and singing whatever the Lord puts on your heart, or singing and dancing without caring what anyone thinks. I’ve also learned what worship looks like in the rhythms of the ordinary, and that it can be just as beautiful as intentional time you set aside to worship the Lord in song.

I’ve seen a lot of healing and redemption come to my tainted view of worship, but I also know I still have a lot to grow in.

This story brought a fresh challenge to me as the Lord surfaced some of challenging questions:

How can my worship look more like this woman’s act of worship? 

  • Sacrificial, unselfish, unrestrained, all in. 

What do I need to break in order to pour out my worship freely? 

  • Is it fear of man, insecurity, shame, resentment, or anything else? 

Is my worship to please anyone but Jesus?


I encourage you to ask yourself what you think worship is. Maybe even ask yourself these questions! 


As always, thanks for reading these blogs! It really means SO much that you would support means in this way. 

God bless! 


[email protected]

6 responses to “Alabaster”

  1. beautiful thoughts! And also amazing to hear how you and others are growing during this time!! All praise to God!!

  2. Emma, that is beautiful writing. It makes me want to send it to my English teacher friend, who is poetic, like you. And what a beautiful truth you are learning. Reminds me of the song: It’s all about you, Lord…….do you know it?
    I’m glad you have good online connections so you could get your Easter card. I didn’t know if it would be possible.
    Praying for you every day. Keep growing.
    Love, Louann

  3. EMMA,
    The LORD has touched your heart and planted down deep the essence of pure worship. FOLLOW His leading. YOUR worship to Him is for His pleasure and to usher in his presence so that others may experience Him in true worship in the Spirit. WITH love, Granddad

  4. “Her worship changed that atmosphere and left behind an undeniable sweet aroma.”
    I want this to be true of me.
    Lord show me what alabaster jar I have that needs to be broken and poured out.
    Thanks for the food for thought and prayer.
    Love you!

  5. Powerful thoughts Emma. Last night I had a dream that felt so real. We had guests in our home for a meal. When I started to pray for the meal God broke in and everyone started worshiping. I couldn’t even finish my prayer, so I just joined in the chorus of worship. I love it when God shows up in the ordinary!

  6. A challenging question for life, we leaving an aroma wherever we go, will it linger and is it the aroma of Christ? Loved the story, thanks for the share, great application!