Broken Vases
by Ken Gire

This poem speaks about extravagant love. Mary's broken vase was an outpouring of love for Jesus. But there was another vessel broken as well, captured beautifully by Ken Gire in this, my favourite of all his writings.


The aroma of extravagant love.
So pure. So lovely.
Flowing from the veined alabaster vase
of Mary's broken heart.
A heart broken against the hard reality
of her Savior's imminent death.

Mingled with tears, the perfume became,
by some mysterious chemistry of Heaven,
not diluted but more concentrated.
Potent enough behind the ears of each century
for the scent to linger to this day.

Doubtless, the fragrance, absorbed by his garment
as it flowed from his head,
Accompanied Christ through the humiliation of his trial,
the indignity of his mockings,
the pain of his beatings,
the inhumanity of his cross.
Through the heavy smell of sweat and blood,
A hint of that fragrance must have arisen
from his garment,
Until, at shameful last, the garment was stripped
and gambled away.

And maybe, just maybe, it was that scent
amid the stench of humanity rabbled around the cross,
that gave the Savior the strength to say:
"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

And as Mary walked away from the cross,
The same scent probably still lingered in the now-limp hair
she used to dry the Savior's feet.
A reminder of the love that spilled
from his broken alabaster body.
So pure. So lovely.
So truly extravagant.
It was a vase he never regretted breaking.
Nor did she.

Ken Gire, Windows of the Soul, Zondervan 1995

If this poem speaks to you, I recommend a sermon by my pastor, James Paton, given Sunday 01 April 2012 at Crossroads International Church of Amsterdam. From this link search for the first in the series: Living in the Shadow of the Cross.

More by Ken Gire
Prayer of devotion
The Passover Lamb
Spiritual refreshment page


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