Mary stared wide-eyed at herself in the mirror. She was quite a spectacle. With a tear~stained face and razor cuts on her arms, she could hardly recognise herself. The horrible memories from the night before flashed through her mind. She closed her eyes to try and clear them but could still vividly see the images. She turned to the sink and splashed cold water all over her face as she sighed deeply. She was tired of the life she lived. Giving herself to different men every night and living the ‘high life’ that left her empty and miserable. She felt used and valueless. The deep void in her soul was almost unbearable. That is the only life she had ever known. She felt trapped and could not see any way out.
Mary pulled her hair back in a ponytail and picked out a decent looking dress from her wardrobe. She had heard of a new preacher in town at their small town church who apparently preached about God’s Grace and how He accepted sinners like her. She had not cared much for church before as everybody knew who she was and what kind of life she lived. She was aware of the whispers and stares that had become part of daily life as she walked down the streets. Her life and affairs were no secret to anyone who lived in that town. Her friend who had attended one of his meetings, had encouraged to her to try it out repeatedly. Having come to a point of desperation, Mary was ready to try anything that would offer her any hope.
As she entered the little church that was crammed with people, she could not pass by unnoticed. Stares and whispers flew her way and she wished she could have been swallowed by the ground right then. She quickly found a seat and fixed her eyes ahead.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
“Oh, how can I give you up, Israel? How can I let you go? How can I destroy you like Admah or demolish you like Zeboiim? My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows.” (Hosea 11:8)
“God’s heart for you is Love. He will never turn you away, no matter where you’ve been or what you have done, His arms are open wide. His Grace is all you need…”
Mary took in every word as if her next breath depended on it. She allowed tears to flow relentlessly as the preacher’s eyes seemed to fix on hers. She didn’t see or feel condemnation as he looked at her. Instead she saw compassion and understanding as if he was aware of her life but still accepted her. And when he called for an altar call, Mary was the first to walk towards there as quickly as her legs could carry her. Not caring what anyone would say or what they thought about her, She fell flat on her face and wept. Pouring out her heart without words. She desperately wanted this freedom. She wanted to encounter this Grace and Love that would never fail her. She stayed that way as she felt the preacher’s gentle hand on her shoulder speaking words of Love and assurance of her freedom. She had never felt anything like it. Freedom had come to her heart.
“Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.” (Matthew 26:10)
How can we share the Love of Christ to those that are far from God and deep in the ways of the world? Share your thoughts and comments with me. I would love to hear them!