An Easter story – she did what she could

Easter story

This Easter story has a little different slant than most posts you’ll read about Easter. This Easter story is written to capture the heart of anyone ministering to children of divorce, of single parents, or in blended families.

A few years ago, right before Easter, my church minister Dr. Brad Reynolds preached on Mark 14. I had heard this chapter preached on many times before. You probably also remember it:

“While He was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on His head.” (Mark 14:3)

I was taking notes and listening when my eyes jumped ahead and fell on one particular verse. The words seemed to jump out at me. Verse eight says, “She did what she could.” I re-read that: “She did what she could” (Mark 14:8).

Very simple, easy to understand, and it said to me that all of us can only do what we can. This lady had broken her bottle and poured the contents over Jesus. She was preparing Him for burial. What an important role, but it all seemed so insignificant to the bystanders.

“Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, ‘Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages, and the money given to the poor.’ And they rebuked her harshly.” (Mark 14:4–5)

But, oh my, what power there was in this act of pouring the perfume over Jesus! He knew how powerful the woman’s act was. She was preparing Him for His future. Jesus even told the others to leave her alone.

“‘Leave her alone,’ Jesus said. ‘Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to Me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have Me. She did what she could.’” (Mark 14:6–8a)

Isn’t that a lot like those of us who work with the children of divorce? What we do might seem so insignificant to others, but we are preparing these children for their future. We do what we can!

If you struggle with children of divorce attending your church on a regular basis, just do what you can. Love them when they are there. Send them a card, or a give them a call when they miss a week.

Maybe they aren’t at the church Easter egg hunt. Put a few eggs aside for them, so when they do return, you can pull out those eggs and take a moment to recall the Scriptures about Easter. Many children will save those beautiful eggs, and they will become treasures reminding the children of a loving church leader.

Most importantly, let these children know that there is a God who will never forsake them or leave them. This God sent His son to die on a cross for their sins. You’d be amazed at the number of children of divorce who don’t hear this at home.

“She did what she could.” Let that sink in for a minute. Just imagine Jesus saying, “Leave them alone. They are doing what they can to further My kingdom.” One third of all children in the United States are being raised in single-parent homes, and if we don’t love them and work with them, we will not be furthering the kingdom through those children and their future children.

Jump ahead 5 or 10 years. A former whirlwind kid who’s now a young man happens upon you at the mall. He’s with his mom and says, “She [you, his church worker who cared enough to save a few Easter eggs] has done a beautiful thing to me” (Mark 14:6).

When you minister to the child of divorce, you are impacting the kingdom in ways that you will never realize. Jesus realizes it, though.

She did what she could—can we do any less?

This article originally appeared here.

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Linda Ranson Jacobs is one of the forefront leaders in the areas of children and divorce and single-parent family needs. Having been both divorced and widowed, Linda was a single mom who learned firsthand the emotional and support needs of broken families, and she developed a passion to help hurting families. As a children’s ministry director, children’s program developer, speaker, author, trainer, and therapeutic child care center owner, Linda has assisted countless single-parent families and their children. In 2004, Linda created and developed the DivorceCare for Kids program, a biblically based, Christ-centered ministry tool designed to bring healing, comfort, and coping and communication skills to children of divorce. Local churches use this lay-led, 13-week program to launch a children’s divorce recovery ministry in their church and community.