“In Memory Of Her”

Jackson Snyder

In Memory of Geneva Wyant S.
(July 11, 1906 – November 11, 1987)


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Go Directly to the Message  |  The Imitation of Christ      
The Brethren of the Common Life


Matthew 5:3  Happy are the poor in spirit ...  (YLB)

Luke 6:20  Happy are the poor ...  (YLB)


She Loved The Son So Much... Once upon a time there was a wealthy man who lost his wife when their only child was young.  An elderly nurse was hired to take care of the boy, who lived only into his teens.  Heartbroken from this second loss, the wealthy father died a short time later.  But no will could be found; and since there were no relatives, it looked as if the state would get his fortune.  The man’s personal belongings, including his mansion, were put up for sale. 

   The old nurse had very little money, but there was one thing she wanted.  It was a picture that had hung on a wall in the house – a photo of the boy she had loved and nurtured.  When the items were sold, nobody else wanted the picture, so she bought it for just a few dollars.  Taking it home, she began to clean it and polish the glass.  As she took it apart, a paper fell out.  It was the man’s will, and in it he stated that all his wealth should go to the one who loved his son enough to buy that picture.


Caspar ten Boom:  Once the occupation of Holland was underway and the Jews began to suffer persecution, Casper, although quite old by then, devoted himself to the rescue effort. He even attempted to get his own yellow Star of David to wear, so he could identify with the Jews in their time of trouble. He surprised Corrie by his comment when he saw the soldiers packing Jews into the back of a truck: “Those poor people,” he lamented. “I pity the poor Germans. They have touched the apple of God’s eye.”

   Once Corrie asked one of the pastors if he would be willing to take a Jewish baby. When she showed the child to him, his only response was “No. Definitely not. We could lose our lives for that child.” Casper had overheard the conversation, took the baby in his arms, and commented, “You say we could lose our lives for this child. I would consider that the greatest honor that could come to my family.” 

   (In the motion picture, The Hiding Place,” Caspar tells the Christian minister something like, ““We love the Jews because we can thank them for the two greatest treasures. First, a Book written by the Jews. It is the Bible and we must thank Israel for it. Second, it got me acquainted with my greatest Friend. He was a Jew. This Friend is my Savior.)

   Whenever any of his friends told him to stop keeping Jews in his home because he could be sent to prison, he would respond, “I am too old for prison life, but if that should happen, then it would be, for me, an honor to give my life for God’s ancient people, the Jews.” He did just that.  From K Alan Snyder, “Corrie ten Boom: A Protestant Evangelical Response to the Nazi Persecution of the Jews.”




Codex Sinaiticus

New Testament:

from the famed discovery


The earliest, oldest New Testament text has finally been released to the public.  You may read the Codex Sinaiticus online - but only if you know Greek!  To read it inCodex Sinaiticus New Testament H T Anderson English English, you need the only English translation we know.  The H. T. Anderson English Translation of the Codex Sinaiticus, with the three extra early New Testament books and the Sonnini Manuscript of Acts 29 included, and the original absences of certain verses (put in there later by the 'church') is now available only at here.  

THIS IS NOT A CHEAP, SCANNED-IN FACSIMILE. This is a first edition of the text published in easy-to-read Georgia font with plenty of room between verses for your notes.2 points between verses, hard or soft cover.


The Nazarene Acts
of the Apostles

Also known as
The Recognitions of Clement

Ever wonder why PAUL and not PETER received the mission to the lost tribes?  Wasn't Peter the stone upon which the "church" was to be built?  In this new translation of the Nazarene Acts, we follow Kefa (Peter) as he itinerates from Jerusalem and up the Mediterranean coast up to Tripoli, as recorded in the journals of his successor, Clement of Rome (Phi 4:3).  Every message Kefa preached, the company he kept, and the great works of faith the the Almighty accomplished through him are herein recorded.  This 300 page volume has been 'hidden' in the back of an obscure volume of the "Church Fathers" all this time.  Could it be that, in establishing the Gentile 'church' by pushing away from Judaism, this history was purposely hidden?


Psalms 22:14-18 (in the message)


Mark 14:1. It was now two days before the Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest [Yahshua] by stealth, and kill him; 2.  for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be a tumult of the people.”  3.  And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure spikenard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. 

 4.  But there were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment thus wasted?  5.  For this ointment might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and given to the poor.” And they reproached her. 

 6.  But Yahshua said, “Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.   7.  For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you will, you can do good to them; but you will not always have me.  8.  She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burying.  9.  And truly, I say to you, wherever the good news is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her. 

 10.  Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them.  11.  And when they heard it they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him. 


Poured Out Like Water

   We have been following Yahshua as he makes his last journey from his homeland of Galilee up to Jerusalem, where he’ll pour out his life for the world.  It’s the Spring of 33 A.D.  The most important observance, the Passover, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, are to arrive in a matter of days.  Yahshua will die on the day of Passover and rise on the Sabbath after.  He’s made that a surety.  Now Yahshua’s on the outskirts of Jerusalem, having taken residence in Bethany, a suburb of the Holy City.

   That Yahshua foreknew his future is proved by his plain foretelling of what would happen earlier; but a special proof is revealed by his cries from the stake: “Elohi, Elohi, lama sabachthani?” “My El, My El, why have you forsaken me?  Some wrongly believed he was calling on Elijah to save him.  Others to this day teach that his heavenly Father had forgotten him.  But disciples know that, from the cross, he was reciting the 22nd Psalm in his desperate agony – a song that also foretold of his torture:

Psalms 22:14.  I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax, it is melted within my breast; 15.  my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; thou dost lay me in the dust of death.  16.  Yea, dogs are round about me; a company of evildoers encircle me; they have pierced my hands and feet-17.  I can count all my bones-they stare and gloat over me; 18.  they divide my garments among them, and for my raiment they cast lots. 


Horror Inside

   Yahshua’s heart must have been in a state of emotional horror as he reclined at table with his host, Simon, the leader in the local synagogue, and the rest of the company VIPs.  They wondered why Yahshua seemed nervous, or maybe just not his entertaining self tonight.  Though he’d told his followers time after time he would suffer, how could it happen now, just when he’d achieved such glorious invitations to dine with leading figures? 

   One soul perceived his discomfort.  Just one.  A Nameless Woman.  She knew.  Somehow, she knew that this man, a good and innocent man, a man she loved without reservation, would soon endure indescribable anguish for her sake – and for the sake of the world.


Her Compassion

   She had compassion beyond mere words or natural affection.  What words could possibly describe her deep moanings, groanings, cavernous intercessions – floods of tears?  And what affection!  Not mere pity; sacrificial affection isn’t pity.  True compassion isn’t pity.  Her diamond of compassion had many facets.  Empathy for instance - endūring the exquisite pain of the other, suffering with and within the suffering, hurting with the hurt, starving with the starved, being nailed up with the crucified, dying with the condemned.  Such empathy was hers.

   Another facet was her action.  This Nameless Woman not only feels, but does: sharing in the other’s hardship, pouring herself out for the other’s desperate need, doing whatever is within her realm of possibilities to alleviate the suffering, knowing that when the pain of the Beloved ceases, so might hers.  The Nameless Woman knows her Master’s on his trail of tears.  With the premeditation that starts with a broken heart, she does all she can.  She anoints him for burial.


His Compassion

   No one in Simon’s house understands her but one.  Yahshua, who deserted glory, he understands.  He was born to save her and her kind not because he was compelled to nor because it was his duty nor because his coming would fulfill ancient prophecies, but because he felt compassion for people despite what they felt for him.

   Over and over, when Yahshua ministers to the rabble by feeding, healing, forgiving, he tells his disciples exactly why he’s pouring himself out for the worthless.  Time after time he explains, “I feel.  I feel.  I feel compassion for all these folks (oclon) (Matthew 9:36,14:14,15:32; Mark 8:2, etc.). 

   In Bible language, this word “compassion” (splagcnizomai) denotes deep inner uneasiness – its meaning isn’t unlike the cramping we feel in our bowels when we receive very bad news – like when a loved one is diagnosed with a serious illness, or a close relative dies.  Our innermost parts are throttled.   We feel sick inside.

   Yahshua sees the masses, and he knows of their desperate living conditions and ultimate fate in the fires of Gehenna.  This is a terrifying end for those whom he helped create.  Now he’s come to seek and save that which is lost!  He returns with good news!  He pities the wretches around him with all his being, yet he acts with all his ability – all his living – for those Satan has exploited, enslaved and molested. 

   He even has compassion for these gluttons at table with him: they’re far more lost than the sinners outside, but they won’t recognize it.  He even loves his betrayer – he came to seek and save him, too - yet Yahshua knows this man will not be saved.


A Waste?

   Yahshua’s short life often seems like a waste, doesn’t it?  Wasting time?  Resources?  Casting pearls to swine?  Helping ingrates who don’t care a fig?

Yahshua owns the wisdom of the ages,

   Yet he spends his wisdom on those who can’t understand it.

Yahshua is well-endowed and lacks for nothing,

   Yet he splurges all his money on the poor.

Yahshua has influential friends who could make him king,

   Yet he tries only to impress the disinherited and untouchable.

Yahshua could’ve founded a new religion.

   Yet he gives up his aspirations for the unborn.

Though he could’ve summoned angels in the throes of his agony,

   He chooses to be poured out like water -

        as though he is as worthless and plentiful as water.


Yet there are still those thirsty for him today –

   They gather his dew from the wind.


Kenosis – The Outpouring

   But now, the Nameless Woman creeps into the ruler’s house like a spirit and pours out HER life as a holocaust to him.  She harbors the precious alabaster flask filled with the blood-red ointment of the nard’s root,

·        So rare - imported from far away India;

·        So valuable - worth about $15,000 – a life’s fortune then;

·        So fragrant – a potent perfume used to fuel youthful passions or disguise the disgusting fumes of a rotting corpse.

   Quickly, she breaks the fragile alabaster and immediately the sweet, overpowering ambrosia wafts out, capturing the stale air of the house.  Standing behind the reclining and soon-to-be condemned Savior, she pours the thick, red unguent upon his head, and it slowly smears down his hair and face and onto his shoulders, then to the floor like congealing blood.  Bead after bead, it drips and drops.  Dollar after dollar; denarius after denarius (RSV); shilling after shilling (ASV); pence after pence (KJV) – drop by drop, the Nameless Woman’s comfortable life ekes forth from the alabaster flask.

Her future security, mite by mite,

Her rent for the next twenty years, drip by drip,

Her daily bread and bread for tomorrow, bead by bead.

Finally, even her fare back home is gone.  All gone.

   But the Nameless Woman cares nothing for her comfort or lost wealth; for, even after careful consideration and thoughtful financial planning, her life’s investment has now been redeemed by purchasing what she considers the most important commodity of all – more necessary than her welfare, more needy than her family, more pressing than her future, more valuable than her own life.  She has anointed the Savior of the World for burial.



*    *


   “Why this waste?” cried the thief.  “We could’ve received this as a donation for the poor before she ruined it!  Three hundred denarii is a fortune!  Think of how many we could’ve saved with that!” he lied, and all while the expensive red goop was slowly dribbling down the Savior’s beard. 

   Those who steal from Yahweh use good causes to raise money, but they have their personal ministry at heart – which is often themselves.  In the minds of the corrupt, money-worshiping bishops at the table, the woman’s prodigal generosity was recognized as wastefulness.  Covetousness set it, which is idolatry.  These men, even disciples, worshipped another god that hour – a god named “Stingy.” 

   Even the name of their town betrays a stingy, penny-pinching attitude.  Bethany means “House of Poverty.”  It was poor not because there was no money; it was poor because it was selfish.  No seeds sown; no harvest grown.  Had these idolaters known the Nameless Woman had such wealth, they would’ve surely had it.  And I’m afraid if we’d been present, if we’d known the value of the spikenard as they did, we might’ve agreed with the thief’s assessment – what waste! 

  But the incident turned out for the good, for, in the end, the Nameless Woman spent what was hers on what she desired.


The Nameless Granddaughter

   We took the Nameless Granddaughter to the beach years ago.  She was only four years old.  We bought her a big bottle of “Bubble Stuff” at the dollar store and gave it to her.  It became her possession.  We thought we might enjoy watching her blow bubbles in the wind.  We didn’t think of what she might want to do with her possession.

   We sat this Nameless Granddaughter in the sand, opened that big plastic bottle of super-cheap Bubble Stuff and put the bubble wand in her hand.  We went back to our beach chairs to watch the show.  When we’d just gotten seated, we beheld the Nameless Granddaughter carefully set the wand down, pick up the plastic bottle of Bubble Stuff in both hands then slowly and gleefully pour it all out, anointing the sand.

   I was ridiculously upset – “Look what that kid did!  She wasted it all!  I’m never going to buy her anything again.” 

   Someone chided me –”What’s wrong with you?  It only cost you a dollar!  You’re such a cheapskate.  She did what she wanted to do with what belonged to her, so what business is it of yours, anyway?”  The rebuke was well deserved, for my would had originated in the “House of Poverty.”


Happy Days

   But doesn’t this exemplify the attitude of so many?  In comparison with the Nameless Woman, we’re extraordinarily cheap, hording and reserved with our possessions and wealth and love and compassion and worship and faithfulness and selfhood.  Be honest!   We don’t want to pour out our valuable time and space for our Savior and his work here in Bethany.  How wasteful!  Not enough time for that!  I can’t spare it!  I might need it!  Somebody else might get it!  My time’s about done!

   This appears to me to be the general mindset of many who grew up during The Great Depression in a House of Poverty.  If you had little or nothing then and still feel pinched for every penny, every scrap of paper, every sliver of soap, every pecan under the tree, every penny in the washing machine, I’ve got great news for you!  Listen! 

The Great Depression is over!

It’s been finished for sixty years!  Hurray!

♫ Happy days are here again!  The sky above is clear again!

Let us sing a song of cheer again; Happy Days are here again!

Happy days are here, that is, if you’ve left stingy little Bethany for the Kingdom of the Beloved Son.  Even the poor are happy” here.  Rejoice in Yahweh, and again I say, Rejoice!  You’ve got nothing to worry about any more.  Someone’s going to take care of your every need. 


A Nameless Man

   Consider the happy man who arose from poverty six hundred years ago during the Black Plague.  This particular Nameless Man became so convicted that Jesus was poured out for him, then so compassionate toward his suffering rescuer, that the Nameless Man decided to pour HIMSELF out for the Beloved.  He joined the Brothers of the Common Life in Holland.  For the next 70 years he dwelt in a cell of their dank monastery, dedicating his life to copying holy manuscripts and praying that Jesus would visit him and tell him what he should further do. 

   After many years in the cell, the Beloved came from Heaven and visited his disciple there, answering his prayers and petitions in person.  Jesus visited the Nameless Man often.  Jesus was asked many questions about discipleship, love, sin and sacrifice.  And whatever Jesus answered, the Nameless Man wrote down.

   In one such interview, Jesus offers advice for all who love him and desire to serve him.  The Nameless Man wrote as the Beloved dictated: “Sir,

Just as I of my own free will offered myself on the cross for your sins with outstretched hands and naked body, so that nothing remained in me that did not become altogether a sacrifice for you, so also ought you every day to offer yourself willingly to me for a pure and holy sacrifice with all your strength and affections, even to the utmost powers of your heart.  What more do I require of you than to resign yourself altogether to me?  Whatever you give aside from yourself, I care nothing for, for I ask not for your gift, but for you.  (Click for entire manuscript.)

   The Nameless Man poured out his long, long life in a tiny cubicle as his gift to his Beloved.  He lived in abject obscurity, unknown and unloved by others.  But after his death, the manuscript that recorded his visitations with the Beloved was preserved and has survived these last 600 years to be cherished by every Christian luminary since, including our founding fathers John and Charles Wesley, and yours truly.  The manuscript’s title is The Imitation of Christ.  The Imitation has sustained unequaled popularity among religious classics all these centuries, influencing a million believers, perhaps you too. 

   So much time, talent and money expended by one solitary life – a long, long life – spent in little more than a cave.  But so much gained by the believing world at his expense – and we still don’t even know his name.



*    *

Let Her Alone!

   Back in Bethany of Judea, in the House of Cheapskates, the religious men at Simon’s table stridently rebuke the Nameless Woman.  The Scripture innocuously reports, “They reproached her.”  I can just imagine what curses and names they directed to the dear lady.  But Yahshua, his head and face enmucked in blood-red goop, smelling like an expensive mortuary, shouted at them in the wrath of his Father.  LEAVE HER ALONE! 

            This woman is preparing my body for burial. 

                        She’s done a beautiful thing to me. 

                                    She’s given everything she has. 

                        And I tell you all prophetically,

                                    wherever the good news is preached,

                                                what she’s doing will be told,

                                                            in memory of her.


   My friend, so much has been given for us and to us.  Yahshua’s life’s blood, his life’s ambitions, his life’s pleasures, have all been poured out like sweet, expensive nard upon our heads.  He’s anointed us with the oil of his very being, he poured the container of his body out drop by drop until there was nothing left.  That’s how much he loves us, as unworthy as we are.  That’s how much he loves you {and name names}.  And if he’s done all this, can we not find it in our bowels to love him, to serve him, and to dedicate our miserable, impoverished lives to him – and find true happiness at last?  He asks not for our gift, but for us.


For Communion  (Optional)

   Long centuries have passed.  Though she remains nameless, yet we once again remember this woman beloved of Jesus, as all believers of all ages have remembered her.  Shall we dedicate our lives to the Him – in memory of her?  Amen.

   Beloved - when you see the redness of the communion wine, will remember the red spikenard ointment that was poured out upon Yahshua by this dear woman.

   Beloved - when you behold the brokenness of your bread, will you remember the anointed Savior’s life’s energy poured out for you?

   Beloved - when you once again pledge to pour your life out for your Lord and Savior, will you do so today in memory of her?


March 29, 1995, Updated July 17, 2004