“…and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears.” (v. 38)
The part I hadn’t seen is this: “she stood behind him.” Jesus was probably reclining on his side. On a couch. On a cushion. It was typical Middle Eastern culture. It was the way you ate and drank and socialized. This despised prostitute enters this scene and stands behind Jesus. At his feet. She does not enter the inner circle. The table is there. The food is there. Men are there. To reach Jesus’ feet she would have had to have stooped down low. Very low. It would have placed her at the bottom side of his feet. Dirty feet. Unwashed feet. In the same way to reach the woman Jesus would have had to have stooped down low, very low, placing him as a target of accusation. Dirty woman. Unclean woman. Dirty, defiled woman washing dirty, defiled feet. True worship. Messy worship. In fact, some of the most beautiful worship services I’ve ever been in were, well… characterized by excessive nasal drain. I think here in this moment this was no exception. Dirty woman meets dirty feet, and through this embrace both were made clean. This is what worship was meant to be.