The silver trinkets and bells stitched to her garments danced merrily and demanded attention as the woman quickly made her way through the darkened street. Tonight she deliberately ignored the stares of men, some glaring with utter disdain, with curses on their lips, others gloated over her with unbridled seductive invitation. Some groped at her as she hurried past, having been alerted by her clanging profession's wares. She was well known, the arrays of her trade, her gaudy clothing, long voluptuous hair, her inviting painted eyes and full, red-coloured lips were no longer necessary to entice her willing companions.
Repulsed, embittered by her way of life, Mary steeled her mind for her next appointment.
Stripped naked in the core of her being, the woman had been forced to face her life of sin. Scene after scene of love and rejection paraded through her deeply troubled mind as she hurried to her destination. Finally she had the courage to face the truth, to examine her life as a wayward woman, to address the emptiness and futility of her miserable existence. The pain that had surfaced since hearing the Nazarene was unbearable. His words had awakened and exposed the deepest cry of her wounded heart to be loved.
Can it be possible to be loved? The thought vexed her but somehow she knew that
the Nazarene's words were true. I could feel His love...it was in His words, in His eyes
that burned with passion, tangible, reaching intouching my heart The memory of that moment brought on another sudden gush of tears. I haven't stopped crying since that day. It's as if my heart is being washed, cleansed, prepared for true lovefor His lovefor His touchHeaven's touch
Mary pondered the strange compulsion that now drove her to love the Nazarene. My heart has been changed. A love that I had never known existed has captured my heart. I'm irresistibly drawn to HimI love Him even though I've never known Him?! My soul aches for His love, yearns for His words of grace - His forgiveness.
The woman paused, pressing herself against a wall in the street, a troubling thought abruptly halting her journey. Her breathing became laboured as her chest tightened in deep anguish. What if He rejects me? Why shouldn't He! After all, I'm aprostitute. Mary felt a deathly cold wave of despair begin to engulf her soul. Tears rolled down her cheeks, controllable sobs tearing her apart. "The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."* The words that He had spoken that day again penetrated Mary's despair. Seek and to savewhat was lost. He's deliberately seeking me, He wants me, He wants to restore my lifeis that why I feel as I do, drawn to Him, wanting to give Him my love, even my brokenness, my shame?
All of a sudden, Mary found herself at the entrance of the house she sought.
A gasp escaped her lips, her throat drying in nervous anticipation. The courtyard was filled with servants and hired hands. Many important, influential guests have gathered here tonight. How, how can I touch Him with so many pressed around Him? How will I get throughwill I not be prevented from nearing Him? Standing alone in a darkened corner, Mary probed her options. "I've come this far, I'm not turning back. I don't care what they think! I want Him, I need HimI love Him" she whispered.
Mary made a dash for the door. Hidden under her outer garment was an exquisite treasure, a rare perfume in an alabaster box - a gift for her next appointmentthe Nazarene, who was having supper at Simon the Pharisee's house.
Based on Luke 7:36-50.
Karen Elengikal is an inspirational, published writer from Sydney, Australia. Karen's first book 'Kidz Battle Zone' was released in 2007. (see FW Book Review).