What is love like?

Five Senses of Love

reflection on John 12: 1 - 11 for Monday of Holy Week

What does love look like?
Love looks shocking.
Love breaks rules,
as did Mary of Bethany who rubbed perfume
on a rabbi's feet
and dried them with her hair - in public.
Love shocks
when it wastes expensive perfume
or destroys a precious body
like that of Jesus
hung out on a cross to die.

What does love feel like?
Love feels good
to the one who can receive it
like a baby
relaxing in its parents' care,
or like a lover
in the arms of the beloved.

What does love sound like?
Love sounds
to Judas like 300 coins,
a whole year's wages spilling to the ground,
rolling away and lost
- an extravagant waste.
Love sounds
to Jesus like the sound of friends,
of tears, laughter, music
and companionable silence. 

What does love taste like?
Love tastes
like the best food and drink,
caringly prepared,
served and shared.
Love tastes of friendship,
of family and belonging.

What does love smell like?
Love smells
of expensive fragrance
filling the house,
permeating the nostrils
to create memories of intimacy,
and evoke thoughts
of death and burial.

"Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, annointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume."

(This is a revised version of something I first posted in 5 Senses of Love in 2011)

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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