Scripture to reflect upon: Luke 7:36-39Just then a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him."
Sometimes when I’m reading my book, Jesus, I stop to reflect upon what I’ve read and try to imagine myself in that setting. Last night as I was thinking about Jesus’ ability to be supernatural and natural all at once, I began to ask myself, “Why would I have been there?” Meaning, what would have been my motive for being in His presence?
Jesus healed many people. Healing was the main event. But one day Jesus forgave a man’s sins and the crowd was bewildered at what had just taken place. The Pharisees listening were thinking to themselves, “What gives him the authority to forgive sins? Only God forgives sins!” And Jesus read their thoughts.
Jesus knew what people were thinking. Jesus healed many people. And then he began to take it a step further. He began to heal the inner wounds of people. I believe for the most part that many “sinners” are not living a life of sin because they enjoy it. I know from my experience, and knowing others in my sin-circle, that most of our sinning was based around something in our past that led us onto an entirely different path. A course we never planned on.
You see, I loved to dance and sing and play guitar as a child. I loved tap dance and ballet. I often sung in choirs and did solo performances. I played guitar like a classical genius. But I was molested when I was eleven. Right in the midst of all these amazing things going on in my life, I watched my first step-dad beat my mother. I spent countless hours in a bar, watching drunk people drink their lives away in a dark, empty hole. It was my first step-dad who molested me when I began to show that I was no longer a child, but a budding woman-in-the-making. One night, instead of raging against my mother, he instead locked himself in my room with whiskey breath and stubby fingers. I played dead, but I felt his hands on me for weeks, even months. My life from that moment on took a totally different turn. Away from God. Away from hope for a future.
So then who could I relate to in the bible? A few weeks ago I was aspiring to be like Mary, Jesus’ mother. I liked the idea of being so loved by God that He would trust me wholly with His only Son. She was a faithful, pure-hearted servant, and that’s why God chose her. She didn’t doubt Gabrielle’s message. Instead, she took God for His Word.
But last night I realized that I would probably have been the prostitute getting stoned, or even the woman in this scripture--the town harlot. I lived a very wild rock ‘n roll lifestyle for most of my 20’s and early 30’s. I met many famous rock stars, even dated a few. I rode on tour buses and even went on tour with a band for three days. I was also addicted to cocaine and alcohol. I gave up my own dreams of being a musician and followed them instead.
I would love to be a Mary—pure at heart, a good girl from the very beginning—but I’m one of the bad girls of the bible. I’m the town harlot, eager and anxious to sit and weep at the feet of the One who can and will forgive my sins. I didn’t start out as a bad girl. I ventured into life as a Mary, but life robbed me of my innocence and changed my course. Thankfully, God remembered that little girl’s pure heart and kept His promise to love her unconditionally; no matter what she became in the long run, because He had other plans. Plans to take what was meant for my harm and used them for good things.
NOTE TO SELF: I didn’t start out as the town harlot, and it’s not going to end that way either, because I am falling all over Jesus, kissing His feet and anointing them with expensive perfume (my tears, my innocence, my dreams). Thank You, Jesus, that not only do you read our minds, and heal our sickness, but you also redeem us of our sins and give us a second chance at a life we thought we’d never see again.