The Woman

I loved Him the moment I saw Him, but of course I couldn’t admit that….not a woman like me, a woman of ill-repute as they would say.
No, I couldn’t even dare to be seen looking at Him as He spoke to the people about love and forgiveness, about the Kingdom He had come from and the Kingdom that was within Him.
So, I stood in the shadows with my face veiled so that I could drink in His words and watch His lovely hands as they touched the children and the lepers and the blind and brought healing and love everywhere He went.

And all the time I longed for His touch, His love, His healing, for me.
When I went home after hearing Him, I felt so bad about what I did….the life I lived….the men I had into my room. Oh, nobody would think that, when they looked at me with my tawdry clothes and jangling jewels. Nobody would have seen behind my shaded eyes, the pain and anguish of my lonely heart.

Then one day, one awful but wonderful day, they came for me, my persecutors.
Some of them , I knew, and they knew me (if you get what I mean)…..but of course it was no good me saying anything in my defence……they caught me ‘at it’ after all……found in the very act of adultery…..what could be worse?! And they did not need to tell me the punishment for my crime, I knew I would be stoned to death.

They dragged me from the house, my screams ignored. Who was there to care for my plight……who had there ever been to care for me?……No-one.
So, they chased me down the road, screaming and yelling at the tops of their voices and gathering momentum all the way along to the town square where the deed would be done.
I ran from them. Scrambling and falling as my knees gave me beneath me, but running, running and running to get away from them. Of course my efforts were futile. As I fell they kicked me and hit me as I scrabbled in the dust trying to get up.

I thought I could go no further, I would just lie down and die, I could not go on.
My hands and feet were bleeding, my eyes were blurred with tears and my face caked with snot and dust. A rough hand grabbed me and threw me down, my mouth filled with the taste of blood and dirt.

I waited, not caring whether I lived or died. I just waited for the first rock to hit me…..I waited….but nothing happened.
Then a voice, loud and harsh shouted; “Here you are taecher, we found this woman in the very act of adultery!…..Our law says she must be stoned…..but what do you say about it?!”

Above me nobody spoke. I could hear the angry wheezing breath of the men, smell their sweat and their anger as they stood there waiting.
There was a silence. A still point in this madness.
Then another voice spoke. Different to all the rest, gentle and quiet, yet so powerful and loud enough for all to hear.

“Let anyone who is without sin among you, cast the first stone”

I held my breath, I waited for the first arrogant stone to fly through the air to hit me where I lay…..I waited….and then I heard a sound. Not the sound of stones whizzing through the air, but the sound of something falling to the ground. The crump, crump, crump of rocks hitting the hard earth and then, something else……the sound of heavy footsteps as they shuffled quietly away.
Then I realised that His hand was touching my shoulder, strong and reassuring. I heard His voice speaking to me; “My daughter, who here condemns you?” He asked.
Slowly I lifted my head and looked over my shoulder at the stooped backs of the crowd as they moved off into the distance, dejected and defeated.
‘No man here Lord’ I whispered.

So, that day, a few weeks later when I crept into the house where He was sitting at table with Simon, I knew there would be those who would always judge me, never understand. But I knew that despite them I had to do what I came there to do that day.

And then I found myself at the feet of that man who was either loved or hated, adored or feared by all who met Him, found myself breaking the seal of the most expensive nard I had every owned and pouring, pouring, pouring it over Him. I cared not what they thought, I did not heed the whispering that was going on around me or the hatred that was being spoken over me. I did not mind that they wanted me out of their so-called-respectable society.

All I cared about was Him, the one some called the Master, the one I called my Lord from that day on. The man I loved with the purest of love, and worshipped with all my being.

And He said that I was forgiven and He told me to go in peace.

Chrystabell 2012. ©

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