It had ruined her life. All of it. Everything seemed to have secretly conspired together against her since her earliest memories… the school years, her parent’s horrible marriage, the betrayal of those false ‘friends,’ and then most of all the men in her life, who had only seemed to use, abuse, and betray her when she needed them most. “Am I cursed?” her heart screamed out to God. “What did I do to deserve all of this?” mourned her broken spirit as tears dripped down her nose again and fell upon that dress that she had to wear for lack of money to buy something better.
An Innocent Daughter
All of it was so mixed up, so messed up, she could no longer think straight. Her thoughts had no sense of order or reason. They just seemed to dizzy her, shooting across her mind uncontrollably without any kind of coherency. Everything about her was lost, hopeless, and so painful that it was unbearable. She had no one to help her and nowhere to go. Often the thought of just ending it all by throwing herself off of that ugly bridge and into the muddy water of that river that ran through the center of town tortured her. But even the luxury of taking her own life was beyond her. Just the thought of it plunged her farther down that deep black well, heaping more sorrow and dread upon her than anything else, bringing the most painful trembling to her heart… if she were no longer there, who would care for her beautiful, lovely, innocent daughter, who had done nothing in this world to justify the life she had been condemned to now live. Her own childhood was bad enough, but now she was horrified that this beautiful angel from heaven would suffer the same or even worse than she had.
Therapists, Synagogues and Temples
It was an unbearable weight to bear, and it had taken its toll on her body, soul, and mind. She had grown cold as a person, and there was a harsh apprehensive aspect that now began to take hold of her face and the tone of her voice. She was weak and miserable and exhausted from the weight of intolerable anxiety and never-ending toil. The final straw on the camel’s back, the thing that seemed to amplify and make everything worse and absolutely unbearable, was that there was no way out. She was trapped for the rest of her life with no hope that anything would ever change except, maybe, for the worse. No one seemed to have a solution. She had searched for help in all quarters and found none, everywhere that she knew of, knocking on the door of doctors, therapists, synagogues and temples. But nothing seemed to help. The pills were too expensive, and even when she took them, they only seemed to plunge her deeper down into that dark and gloomy pit of pain, confusion, and despair.
The End of 24 Years
As she recounted the years of suffering and disillusionment to the young women and mothers who had gathered to hear her speak in the city square under the painted blue sky on a cloudless morning in the third week of November, as heavily loaded camels and donkeys hurried by kicking up dust and children played on the street corner, a slight tear came to her eye, when she told them of the first time she ‘heard.’1 She would never forget the impact that those words spoken by the breath of the Holy Spirit had on her. Immediately she knew that this was the answer. This was the end of her twenty-four-year search for healing and relief, and the beginning of a new life for her and her adorable child. The voice seemed to thunder from heaven itself… “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6.63). Every syllable seemed to penetrate deeper and deeper into her heart, mind, soul, and body; flooding every molecule of her being with hope, strength, while gently ebbing over her emotions instilling healing and comfort.
The Washing of Love
The man of God continued… “The Spirit of the LORD…has anointed Me To preach the gospel to [the] poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to [the] captives and recovery of sight to [the] blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed” (Luke 4.18). She could feel the hurt and broken-bitterness of aforetime swiftly being erased from her memory and carried away forever on the winds of time; and then, suddenly a peculiar and distinct sensation came upon here that she was being tenderly loved by the greatest husband in the cosmos. ~ “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:25,26). Visibly shaken now, she then blurted out, “Jesus washed the feet4 of the Twelve Apostles, but it was given to me the honor of washing the feet of the Messiah,” her voice now quaking as tears of joy once again gushed down her cheeks, over her lips, and into her mouth, while a trembling hand pulled down heavily on a thick fistful of hair.
And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that [Jesus] sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind [Him] weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped [them] with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed [them] with the fragrant oil.
1. Revelation 3.3
2. John 13.5
© L. Jonathan Blais 2021 All rights reserved. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.