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Compassion, Not Condemnation
by Mary Elder-Criss
09/21/03
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Compassion, Not Condemnation
Mary Elder-Criss

“This isn’t happening!” I think to myself furiously. “There must still be some way to stop all of this madness.” “Last night in the garden, He just allowed them to lead him away, like a lamb to the slaughter.” “ We have followed Jesus all these months, and know His power.” “Why did He stop me from trying to defend Him?” “It is almost as if He chose to go with them.”

“Now he’s going before the Sanhedrin...will He stand before them and speak nothing in His defense as He did before the soldiers last night in the garden?” “I must find a way to investigate what is happening.”


“YOU!” “You were also with Jesus of Galilee!”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” In the background, a rooster crows.

“Yes you do!” “I, too, saw this fellow with Jesus of Nazareth!” exclaimed another servant girl.

“What foolishness are you speaking?” “Begone from me!” I tell you, I do not know the Man!”

“Surely you are one of them, for your speech betrays you.”

“I tell you, you do not know what you are talking about!” “I know nothing of the Man!” “Leave me be!” Again, a rooster crows as I finish speaking.

As the very words leave my mouth, I turn, and there is Jesus, being led into the courtyard. It is then that I remember the words Jesus spoke to me, when I swore my allegiance. “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”

The look on Christ’s face as he meets my eyes....it is not one of anger. Anger I could handle. I am deserving of it. The compassion in His eyes I cannot. Even as I deny knowing him, as I swore I would never do, His expression is not one of condemnation, but mercy. Knowing I have forsaken Him, He still looks at me with love. I cannot handle my failure.

With contempt in my heart towards my own weakness, I flee, weeping bitterly. In the courtyard, the echo of the rooster's crow follows me.


Copyright September 2003












If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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Member Comments
Member Date
Ben Overby 24 Sep 2003
Mary, thanks for reminding us of how different Jesus is from the rest of us. I would gazed at big mouth Peter with anger--the Christ was surely compassionate as you indicate. Good job.
Debra L. McKeen Sparks 22 Sep 2003
Oh, but for Grace.....Mary - this is awesome!
Violet Nesdoly 22 Sep 2003
Well told, Mary! What pathos: "With contempt in my heart towards my own weakness..." - haven't we all felt that way! (Some little pickies - about the thoughts in the 1st and 2nd paragraphs - you don't need quotes; setting them off with commas is sufficient. Also later in the conversation part, where the speaker says several sentences in one appearance [“What foolishness are you speaking?” “Begone from me!” I tell you, I do not know the Man!”] you only need quote marks in front of 'What' and after 'Man'.) ~ Violet
Deborah Porter  21 Sep 2003
Wow Mary! That was fast! No prizes for guessing who your Bible character is, but well done. I loved that last paragraph. With love, Deb
Kathy Pollock 21 Sep 2003
way cool, sis. Not hard to guess, but sure was great. kat
Donna Anderson 21 Sep 2003
YEA, Mary! Can you imagine the joy he felt when he saw the Master alive again and understood grace! This is great. :)
Lovia Larkin 21 Sep 2003
The last paragraph was my favorite. I used to think "How could he have done that to Jesus!" But then thought again and realized that I don't know anyone who hasn't done the same in word deed or thought at one time or another. Grace.




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