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I Need a Refuge

From Psalm 2

Geirangerfjord, Norway

I don’t think I could do it. Pour out my most expensive treasure. Not only that, but pour it out on someone’s feet. And then bend down—in front of everyone (who knows what they’re thinking and saying about me?)—and anoint them. She probably even kissed them. Then she wiped His feet with her hair.


To me, I mean, if I’m just really putting myself in Mary’s shoes in John 12, it sounds like the worst opportunity for chauvinism ever. You want people to think little of you? You want to give a man an opportunity to kick you while you’re down? Do something like that—bow down, give away the most expensive thing you’ve got, and kiss his feet.


Can you tell yet that I struggle with pride?


And listen, I’m not at all saying Mary shouldn’t have done what she did. I’m not at all saying that what she did—from a spiritual, selfless point of view—is gross or weird or shouldn’t be imitated. I’m saying that deep within, if I’m really honest with myself and trying to put myself in her shoes, it’s not something I want to do. And that’s something I need to work on.


So, too, I read Psalm 2:12—“Kiss the Son, let he be angry, and you perish in the way”—and I struggle to go there. I struggle to want to kiss Him. Because, taken in context, this verse isn’t talking about a peck on the cheek. We’re probably talking feet again—or something similar. This kiss is an act of dependence, of total, hands-up surrender:

“Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, let he be angry, and you perish in the way” (vv. 10-11).

In other words, “You might think you’re in charge, but you’re not. He is. Bow down.”


I’m not in charge of my life either. As much as I like to think of myself as strong and independent and not-in-need-of-your-welfare, it’s just not true. Looking back, I’ve relied on the welfare of many people, even the government’s, through the years. (I want so badly to delete that sentence.) I’ve relied on handouts and asked (begged) for help. Hard times hit and give a glimpse of our ubiquitous humanity.


And they remind me: I’m no better than anyone else I have a tendency to judge.


So, the verse says, “Kiss the Son.” Not because He will take advantage of you. Not at all because He will kick you when you’re down. In fact, when others try to talk ill of you, He’ll stand up for you like He did for Mary: “Leave her alone” (John 12:7). He won’t hold it over you that you need Him; and this, I think, is what I fear most about showing my dependence. If I need you, then you’ve got me. You can use it against me. This is something the Son never does.

“Kiss the Son,” and here’s the rest: “Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (v. 12).

Praise God, because I need a refuge. I’m not okay on my own. I still fall into that thinking quite often, but life humbles me again and again—I really am desperate. And that’s okay, because Someone has offered to be a safe, 100-percent trustworthy refuge for me. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).


Fall down at His feet, friend. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to feel like you can’t do it. You know Someone who can.


Hopefully yours,




Next Week’s Reading: Psalm 4–10.

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