Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hair (07/04/19)
- TITLE: Crowning Glory (ii)
By Edy T Johnson
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By the time she met HIM, her waywardness had done its worst. Oh, she still had the power to turn heads, but the delight she once felt had vanished. Now, the way she made her living was more like drudgery. She had traveled too far down the wrong road to ever find her way back to the precious innocence of childhood. Sometimes, when she remembered those carefree days in her grandmother's fragrant garden, she wept bitter tears. All the promise of life had turned out so different, so wrong from what it could have been.
In her despondency, following the crowd one day, she overheard a woman, all excited, telling a story. "He told me everything I've ever done. Why, he must be some sort of prophet!"
She listened, wondering at the words. Prophets had been in short supply for a long time. Perhaps it was just a joke. Or, it might be a curiosity worth checking. The wondering plagued her thoughts for the rest of the day and long into the night. Would she even want to have her life so exposed by some stranger?
When dawn brought more excitement to her attention, she decided to follow the murmuring crowd to see for herself. But, she found she had missed the opportunity. Others returning from the seaside reported that this stranger had left the area, taking a boat to the otherside of the lake.
Disappointed, she went to work on the duties of the day, all the while wondering. Why would a stranger know that woman's story, and why would he tell her all he knew? Why wasn't the woman distressed with shame to have her secrets exposed? How could she seem excited, instead, to have found someone she'd concluded might be a prophet?
"I guess I'll never know," she concluded, now walking against the throng returning from the lakeside. She noticed a little boy, his face shining as he spoke with those walking near him.
"...His friend asked me if I wouldn't mind sharing my lunch with the rabbi. It wasn't much, just a couple bits of bread and fish, but I wanted to help, if someone else was hungry."
* * *
And now, here she was, countless days later. Overwhelmed with the messages she'd heard and overheard, she felt as if her heart would explode. The encounter with HIM, this man some called "Rabbi," and others called a prophet, had finally shaken her to the core.
She had been caught, red handed, in the very act...and the men, several she knew personally were guilty as she, called for her to be stoned. This rabbi must have had some respect, that the men would go to HIM for a verdict. She knew her life was in the balance. But instead of pronouncing judgment, he bent down to write in the dust with his finger. When he spoke, his words stunned her. "He who is without sin, cast the first stone."
Her thankfulness knew no bounds. She discovered he was to be a guest for a meal at the house of a Pharisee. She knew she couldn't miss the opportunity to express her gratefulness to such a wonderfully wise and compassionate man.
â€˜And behold, [this] woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment...
â€˜...Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little."
â€˜And he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."â€™ [Luke 7:37-38, 44-48 RSV]
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