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Monday, March 23, 2015

Soul Sister's Series #7, The Adoring Woman




My heart pounds heavily as I peek through the door. There He is, reclining at the table. His sweet voice stirs something within me. I stand trembling, hesitating, yet yearning to be near Him.  Just when my heart seemed on the edge of bursting, I rush in and drop at His feet. 

The clattering of utensils ceased and gasps of outrage spouted from the guests. “What is she doing? Get that woman out of here.” I recoiled at their disapproving attacks. Perhaps I should have waited until He left. 

I turned and looked up at His face, expecting annoyance at the disruption. Instead of anger, His eyes beckoned me. His tender look of love broke me; I couldn’t turn away now. I edged closer to His feet. The turmoil of the crowd faded away as I gazed at His beautiful face. 

Yesterday I was a worn out prostitute. An outcast of society, not worth knowing or loving. Then I met this man, Jesus. With His touch, I was transformed. All the filth cleansed away. I experienced freedom for the first time. I owed everything to Him. Yet what do I have to give? 

Tears flowed profusely down my face and trickled onto His feet. Muddy tracks coursed down His dusty feet. Alarmed I swabbed them with my hair, caressing and kissing them fervently. The alabaster jar bumped against my arm. I did have something to give. The jar of perfumed ointment was the only valuable thing I owned. Yet my sinful wages obtained even that. My most costly gift was not worthy for a Holy God. Yet it was all I had. 

I break the seal and pour it liberally on His feet. The fragrance filled the room. Murmurs of disapproval rose again and invaded my circle of worship. My face burned with shame, was I too impulsive? I considered leaving. 

Just as I began to rise, Jesus spoke. “Simon, I have something to say to you.”

The proud Pharisee sneered at me, then turned to Jesus, “All right Teacher, go ahead.”

“A man loaned money to two people-$5000 to one and $500 to the other. Neither one of them could pay him back, so he forgave them both, letting them keep the money. Which one do you suppose loved him most?” 

“I suppose the one who had owed him the most.”

“That’s right,” Jesus answered.

Then He turned to me and smiled so lovingly at me. “See this woman kneeling here? When I entered your house, you didn’t bother offering water to wash my feet. But this woman has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t give me a kiss of greeting, but she has kissed my feet over and over again. You didn’t give me oil to anoint my head, but she has covered my feet with costly perfume. She loves me much, because her sins-and they are many-are forgiven. One who is forgiven little shows little love.” 

He then reached over and cupped my chin, captivating me with His eyes, “Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you, go in peace.” 

I drank in this amazing love. This love that says you are beautiful to me and worthy to be loved. I left in wonder at what happened. I left forever changed. 

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I am ashamed to admit it, but many times I linger on the doorstep looking in at Jesus. Unlike this precious woman I hold back from being in His presence. It’s a vicious cycle in my life that usually begins when I focus on my weaknesses and failings. The negative thoughts begin to pile on and I allow them to weigh me down. I withdraw within myself and from Jesus. Then I wonder why I feel so miserable.

I admire this woman so much. I desire to be a worshiper like her. She drew close to Jesus regardless of the disapproving crowd and her hurtful past. She only desired to be with Jesus. She unabashedly poured herself out like her valuable perfume and experienced His precious grace. 

This woman found acceptance and love. Jesus even defended her against the accusers. My Jesus would never reject or push me away. So why do I wander like a dumb sheep? Why do I forget even the basic truths? Why do I have to learn the hard way? 

Nevertheless, I hear His invitation, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Oh, how I need to hear these words. It’s like an invigorating breath of fresh air after existing in a closed in, stale place. It’s like a captivating invitation to sweet fellowship. I yearn for this Divine connection; I need Him like rain to parched land. 

My heart burns, yearns, as my Beloved beckons me. His sweet presence allures. My heart cannot resist. He speaks softly, tenderly; intimate words that thrill. “My child, you were meant for Me. I desire you with an everlasting love.” I must not delay, or allow anything to keep me from Him. There is no rejection here. This is a safe place of acceptance and love. 

When all you have known is painful rejection it can be difficult to open yourself up, even to Jesus. The fear of rejection goes deep and can be hard to root out. I can certainly identify. My school years were especially painful. I had zero self-esteem, plus I was a huge tomboy. The boys taunted me and called me ugly. The girls didn’t want my friendship either. Rejection was all I knew. 

I spent most of my time alone; shut up within myself. I guess it became more of a safety issue. If I don’t open myself up, then I won’t be hurt. Still I longed to be known and loved. It took many years for me to finally experience sweet intimacy with Jesus. Dear sister, don’t hold back like I did. 

Your God “is not a man that He should lie.” His ways and thoughts are so far above ours. His love is unchangeable and strong. You will not be disappointed. Don’t linger at the door anymore. Go to Him and cling to Him. Pour yourself out.  Jesus is a lavish giver; receive His grace and love.