Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Soul (07/13/06)
By Joyce Sykes
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At the very whisper of His name, her spirit perked up and she knew, whether it was proper or not, she would go. She wasn’t invited, nor ever dreamed of being allowed in the home of a man like Simon. He was known throughout the region as one of the ruling Pharisees. Nevertheless, in spite of his social and religious standing, tonight he would have one unwanted visitor, her.
‘I have to let Jesus know how much His words have meant to me. I’ve never heard anyone speak like Him. Yet somehow, they have forever changed me. He must know the hope I feel now. Even though I don’t think I can explain it.’
Pushing through the group surrounding Simon’s house, the woman filled with deep dark secrets, made her way through the ranks. Terror filled her heart, yet determinedly she pressed on. Reaching the open door, she quickly found the source of her search. Wrapped tightly in her fingers an offering of appreciation, her gift, a simple vial of fragrant oil. Her plan was to offer it to Jesus as He passed. Her reason, simply to let Him know how much His teaching had touched her. Her prayer, He would understand her offering.
There He reclined, one man in the midst of many, capturing her undivided attention. She knew He didn’t know her name, nor ever saw her in the crowds but His words had touched her very soul. As she watched Him, horror quickly filled her heart.
‘Filthy! His feet are filthy. How could this be true? No one allowed an honored guest to enter his home without the offer of water to cleanse the dirt and dust from his hands and feet. How dare they allow this great Man to come to dinner and treat Him with such contempt?’
Without thinking, she pushed past the last two people who stood in her way and rapidly fell at the feet of Jesus. The shame of not only her past but for the lack of care shown by religious leaders quickly filled her watering eyes. Immense tears and deep gut-wrenching sobs came from the center of her very core and quickly dropped on the grimy feet of the Master. As the droplets mixed with the now spilled out fragrant oil; they coursed through the dust, cleansing the filth of the day’s travels away.
He did not push her away; but seemed to understand her gratitude. Oh, the joy of sweet release; she was actually touching Him. Without even realizing it, she laid trembling lips upon the One who had touched her with His words of wisdom and insight. Her life would never be the same. Without a second thought, she untied her long, glorious hair to dry the feet of the One she loved so much. Nothing mattered at this instant but to show Him honor and respect.
The gasp of the shocked men failed to reach her senses. It was as if the Jehovah Himself had covered her ears in divine protection to the critical murmuring and whispers surrounding her actions of surrender. Quickly, Jesus confronted the others sitting at the table. He exposed the hardness of their hearts and soul. They saw no need for a Savior, these were men who walked in what they thought was religious perfection. After all, they were Pharisees.
Then He said the one thing that hid within her soul forever.
“Woman, you are forgiven…forgiven… forgiven.’ His words echoed deep within.
As she began backing away from His feet, she felt a stirring in her sin hardened heart. She could feel the shifting of several little pebbles, which gave way to larger stones, which released multiple rocks setting off the roll of huge boulders. “Avalanche!” The words rang out deep within the cavern of her heart. No one else could see it or hear the thunderous crash but somehow as she humbly glanced into Jesus’ eyes, instantly she knew He was aware that the once encased stone heart now beat with hope again. Gone forever was the mountain of pain, shame and suffering of her life. His few words erased years of ridicule and gapping wounds.
“Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
Backing out of the door, her eyes trained on Him, one thought filled her soul.
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