Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man he felt compassion for him (Luke 10:33, NLT).
The Rag Doll Queen
On a lonely trash heap in a damaged, orphaned world, the remnants of a little woman-girl were carelessly scattered around like the broken limbs of an unwanted, discarded rag doll.
With a diseased body wracked with pain, this fragile ethereal dolly queen softly whimpered like a trampled rose. Silent tears were creating muddy trails down her sunken cheeks.
An important looking gentleman dressed in his black Sunday-best coattails and top hat passed the woman and heard her pitiful cries for help. She hopefully cried out for mercy, love and compassion from this man of God.
With disgust he saved her a small little peek down his sensitive nose and his eyes were filled with repulsion. His body shuddered with contempt.
The stench of her brokenness overwhelmed this lord’s delicate system and he fluttered a snow white handkerchief from his breast pocket.
He hurriedly fled in disgust … on his way to a prayer meeting at a church across the road to intercede for the lost and broken of this world. He had to hurry for he was already a tad late.
On his heels followed his congregants singing songs of worship and praise to their God whom they claimed, was Love. Amongst them were a pastor or two, a reverend, a bishop and a priest.
Their joyful singing drowned the pitiful mewl emanating from the rubbish heap until only a broken whimpering remained.
They were making a joyful noise unto their Lord, but quickly averted their eyes from such filth in dire need when they passed this foul-smelling broken scrap of a rag doll queen. They frivolously left many hallelujahs in their wake.
The King of Heaven looked down on His creation. His eye caught this beautiful trampled rose and He winced in unspeakable agony and torment.
The delicious delicate odor of her love for Him, anointed Him with great joy, but also sorrow. A lonely tear of love escaped His heart as He scooped Her into His Loving Embrace.
His tears of anguish soothed the broken petals of the rag doll’s heart like a fragrant ointment while the angels rejoiced in wonder as their King kissed his beloved with His kisses of delight.
His eternal love transformed her brokenness into His glory … into a woman of valor … into His spotless, beautiful, radiant bride.
In his proud exclusivism he condescended to receive Jesus into his home, probably to engage in some ad hoc detective work to personally interrogate Him and pin Him down on His ideas and prophetic credentials (A Commentary on The Four Gospels, James Fowler).
Who’s The Greatest Debtor of Them All?
A while ago, my husband and I watched the movie, The Huntsman; a brilliant new version of Snow White. Now, being an incurable romantic, I like my fairy tales to end with a happily-ever-after.
In this movie, Snow White was crowned as queen without a knight by her side. But, at her coronation feast, she lavished the handsome huntsman with a promising, coquettish smile. Soooooo romantic!!!
As I was pondering the parable of the two debtors, my heart was filled with gratitude towards Jesus’ love and compassion towards all the undesirables of the world.
Jesus told the Scribes and Pharisees that prostitutes, especially those with broken jars of nard, tax collectors, murderers, etc. etc etc. and drunkards (mind you) will enter the gates of heaven long before they do. (Matthew 21:31).
Heaven is a place for the unwanted, the poor, the lame, the lepers, the harlots, the tax-collectors, the humble, the peacemakers, the sorrowful, the Samaritans and, worst of all, the despised gentiles as well!
Not a place for the self-righteous who prance around like peacocks admiring themselves in an evil magic religious mirror, looking down at the drab grey sparrows.
When Simon, the Pharisee, invited Jesus to a meal at his house, his dislike and disdain of our dear Lord was open for all to see. He withheld even the common courtesy of washing His feet!
When the party was well under way, one of those undesirables, an uninvited immoral woman, violated their customs by gate crashing the party. She was a prostitute whose reputation for harlotry was well-known; a fact accentuated by her loose, flowing hair.
We all know of her sweet smelling offering when she washed His feet with her tears, dried it with her hair and annointed Him afterwards with her expensive nard oil.
And Simon was horrified that someone claiming to be a prophet could allow himself to be touched and soiled by such scum of the earth. And it hurts … it hurts very much! I know that so well.
He is an excellent example of how repulsed loveless, merciless religion is towards notorious sinners like this woman.
Then, and how I love this part, Jesus told Simon the story of the two debtors. He knew Simon’s heart and wanted to know who would love the lender the most after their debt was forgiven because none could pay back the money they owed.
Was it the one owing 50 denari or the one owing 500? Simon’s greedy, materialistic mindset of course, presumed that it would definitely be the one who owed the lender the most.
I can almost hear our Lord Jesus asking Simon,”Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the greatest debtor of them all?”. I think Simon needed a few mirrors to accommodate all his self-righteousness.
Was it the white washed tombs of religious hearts who meassured a person’s worth by a bunch of external religious rules, but were blind to their own subtler sins of pride and hypocrisy? Keep in mind that our Lord called them the children of their father, the devil.
Was it the one who looked down his nose at our Lord Jesus and treated Him with contempt, or was it the sorrow-filled sinner who humbly, with a repentant heart knew how much she needed this Divine Forgiver?
Was it the one who was appalled at Jesus’ audacity to think He could forgive sins, but failed to appreciate his own need of a Savior?
Or was it the despised one who was heartbroken about her sinfulness that she didn’t dare even taking a peak into the murky soiled mirror of her heart?
Did her gratefulness to the sinless One enable her to humbly accept the redemption and forgiveness our Lord offered her as a free gift of grace?
I always considered the woman to be the one forgiven the most, but that was at the time while I was still thinking with a religious mindset and from a human point of view.
After all, sexual sins were nearly at the top of my sins-to-avoid-at-all-cost list. I used to have a very long unwritten one. But not any more!!
I remember the time when my family and I were in a similar position as this woman and were treated with the same contempt by some modern day Pharisees.
My oldest son and a pastors’s daughter fell in love. It was at the time when the congregation was doing the Ancient Paths course.
At that stage I was very, very ill and under the impression that it was caused by demons. After my doctor’s diagnosis of that between-the-ears disease, I believed them. And so did my husband.
I went for deliverance after deliverance, made a spectacle of myself in the process and eventually started drinking to ease the physical, emotional and spiritual pain.
Ancient Paths teaches that the sins-of-the-fathers thing never misses a generation! Suffice to say, my son was considered to be the next heir to that painful between-the-ears illness, as well as a drunkard in the making.
He was considered not good enough for that sweet girl and both their hearts were broken as a result.
I just pray that Pappa will do a mighty work of healing in both their hearts and enable them to forgive completely.
Today I have the joy of knowing that my child loves His Pappa with a fierce love, way above most other young men of his age.
I have the blessed assurance that my sweetheart is living daily in his Pappa’s Loving Embrace!
God replied to Moses, “I Am Who I Am”. (Exodus 3:14, NLT)
Opportunities to be Still in the “I Am Who I Am”
By end of 2012 I felt a yearning to be, that which I only can be in the presence of the Great I Am … I needed to return into the life of “I Am” in a new way … a deeper, more intimate way. I needed to experience Him in a “being” way, ridding myself of all “doings” to capture His attention.
As grace precedes even the slightest desire for Him, I knew He was drawing me … gracefully calling me as He saw me seeking Him in the streets of the worldly Jerusalem. I was striving to create an opportunity to return to the Love of my life in humble receptivity … all in vain!! For He alone is the Creator … even of opportunities to love.
My heart was yearning for my Beloved Lord Jesus and I could only faintly hear His wooing song of love … His yearning song to me alone.
“Oh, King of Kings, you alone are the Creator. I am feeble and unable to create even the slightest moment to be still in You. Run to me, my Beloved, for I am lying in my bed yearning to abandon myself in the wonder and beauty of your love … in You alone!”
I could hear Him coming, leaping over the mountains, coming to my expectant arms. His gentle whisper was beckoning me to rise up … to come away with Him … to the garden of my heart … a fruit garden filled with delicious fruits of love, peace and joy … a garden filled with His presence.
There where He is the only opportunity to be satisfied and filled with pomegranates, raisins and figs of endless love … there where every moment is a gift of opportunity to spend in His Loving Embrace.
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18, NLT)
You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain. Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, with henna and nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon. (Song of Songs 4:12-14, NIV)
The merchants of the world will weep and mourn for her, for there is no one left to buy their goods. (Revelation 18:11 , NLT)
Cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men. (Revelation 18:13, NIV)
My bed is spread with beautiful blankets, with colored sheets of Egyptian linen. I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. Come let’s drink our fill of love until morning. Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses. (Proverbs 7:15-18, NLT)
The Scent of a Woman
A while ago a South African artist released a song about the scent of women. The love of his life is captured in the fragrance of a naartjie …. his grandmother hides in the memories of cinnamon ….. the aroma of aniseed searches for lost dreams …. In every fragrance, a woman waits to be discovered.
And I recall the most beautiful Ode to Love ever written, the Song of Songs, with the Composer, none other that the Lover of our hearts, our Heavenly Bridegroom. The words He whispers to His Beloved is beautiful to behold and cherish.
Yes, our Heavenly Bridegroom sings a song of love to His Bride …. His Shulamite …. His Lady Ekklesia. He compares her heart to their private garden filled with the most exquisite and delicate aromas of love, the aroma of costly spices: henna, nard, saffron, sweet smelling calamus and cinnamon. All the odours associated with an intimate love relationship …. their intimate spiritual love relationship …. a mingling of hearts in quiet love and peace. Cinnamon is the symbol of His Beloved’s sheer delightfulness. (Song of Songs 4:12-14)
But there is another love affair, another woman, a seductress …. the great harlot. She is called Babylon The Great. She was introduced to the apostle John as being drunk with the blood of God’s holy people …. the Shulamites, all those being witnesses for and who stayed true to our Lord Jesus. (Revelation 17:5-6).
She bought and traded in the worldly commodities of religion and its counterfeit love. We see that the inventory of her purchases included the most costly spices, including cinnamon. Even more frightening is the fact that she traded in the souls of men. Through her counterfeit love, false acceptance and false security, she deceived many dear souls into her commodity of religion!!! (Revelation 18:11)
This woman was beautifully dressed in all the finest purple and scarlet linen of this world. She seemed immortal and eternal for she already started her deception in the Garden of Eden.
We find her in the streets of Proverbs where she seductively seduces those without common sense and discernment into her house. She uses the counterfeit fragrance of love, sprinkling her bedding of Egyptian linen with costly spices and cinnamon. She uses all her wiles to make her proposal appealing to the senses of seeing and feeling, provoking lust, drawing them into her deadly religious embrace. (Proverbs 7:16-17).
This woman is proud, blaspheming against the Most High God. She forms alliances with kings of the world … the political, economical and religious kings. Those who commited adultery with her, grew rich because of her extravagant, luxurious lifestyle!
But we hear His still, small voice calling us, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins.” (Revelation 18:4, NIV).
This woman is not immortal …. she will be destroyed. The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over the destruction of religion, because no one will then be able to profit any longer from her profanities. (Revelation 18:11)
Coming out of her is a spiritual exodus, an exodus from our slavery to the spiritual Egypt. This is a spiritual journey to Canaan, a journey into the life of our Lord Jesus … a journey into the bedchamber of our King … a journey into His Loving Embrace.
Much love to you XX
I am honored to link up again at the Run- a -Muck where I join Amber and the other ladies from the December Abstractions Community. We write about truth using the abstract. This is a challenge I enjoy so much. We would be glad for you to join us at http://therunamuck.com/ . Thank you, Amber!
I am glad to be linking up with Jane at Girl Meets Paper and the all the ladies at Monday Morning Meditations. Thanks Jane. Join us at http://girlmeetspaper.com/
The Spirit and the bride says,”Come”. Let anyone who hears this say,” Come”. Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the the water of life.” (Revelatiom 22: 17).
The Bride Calling: “Come, Lord Jesus”
What a beautiful mystery…the love relationship between a man and a woman…. a bridegroom and his bride. But the most exquisite of all in its peculiarity, is the relationship between our Lord Jesus and His bride!
These words so vividly express the intense longing of the bride for her Beloved to come and sweep her off her feet, to take her to their Heavenly home…their home of love He had prepared for her.
In a previous post, The Ketubah, I have delved into the mystery of this divine courtship. I peeked into this holy betrothal ceremony, the Jewish traditional ceremony between a Jewish man and woman.
But today, as I was experiencing this longing again with the bride, new joy of revelation flooded my heart. My eyes could see a new level of intimacy in the Heavenly courtship!
All through the bride’s intense longing for her Beloved’s return, He was already living within her through His Spirit.
While her heart was parched with thirst, sighing for her River of Life to wash her clean, her thist was already being quenched by the Fountain of Life, sustaining her from moment to moment, enveloping her heart with a more intense longing for her Beloved.
Oh, my Lord, open the Fountain of Living Waters for the bride of Jesus, a Fountain of Love to cleanse her from her sins and impurity! (Zecharaiah13:1).
Come, lord Jesus, come!!
Much love and a loved-filled Sunday to you.
Thank you so much, Barbie.What a joy and honor to join up for the first time at My Freshly Brewed Life. Come and join us at http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com/.
For she thought to herself, ” If I can just touch His robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition. ( Mark 5:28-29, NLT )
And He said to her, ” Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” (Mark 5:34, NLT)
The Lady and I
On my reading journey I once came across a quote that gripped my heart with wonder and sweet anticipation. Brennan Manning said in his book, The Lion and the Lamb, ” You will trust God only as much as you love Him. And you will love Him not because you have studied Him; you will love Him because you have touched Him – in response to His touch.”
I was in the midst of a cold, barren winter season of my life and could therefore feel how my restless soul uttered a silent, speechless cry, filled with longing to experience the real McCoy of God’s touch and presence. I am sure you are smiling a knowing smile right now! Fm/CFS made our Lord’s presence an absolute necessity I could not do without.
I realized that although I knew a lot about theology, a lot about God and loved the idea of His love, goodness and patience, it was all just an idea, a figment of my imagination and a poor substitute for that magic reality of the unity between two kindred spirits. I knew then that my lack of not knowing was not because of a lack of trying, but a lack of touching Him as a response to His touch. I was not experiencing that mysterious something that many dear saints so secretively smiled about and my heart was sad! That closeness my heart yearned for, seemed unattainable no matter how hard I tried.
At the same time I also had a very unhealthy fear of our God and was terrified that I might land up in the wrong place if I could not muster up enough loving feelings in my heart towards Him. This was a real catch 22 situation if ever there was one! Until I read the above-mentioned quote. Then I knew, really knew that the reason for my dilemma was that I had never before really touched our Lord. I did not know if this was even attainable and my mind seemed unable to fathom the reality of the continuous presence of our resurrected Lord.
A passionate, burning flame of excitement and hope pierced my heart as I was contemplating the possibility of that magic touch and I was overwhelmed with longing which at the same time was beautifully disturbing and devastatingly delightful! I cannot describe it better than King David when he said, “My soul followeth hard after thee; thy right hand upholdeth me.” (Ps 63:8, KJV) The knowledge of our Lord’s prevenient grace before we can even begin to feel the faintest stirring of longing in our hearts towards our King filled me with wonder about the mystery and greatness of His love.
But I was still so unfulfilled and clueless about how to bring this touching thing about when I suddenly remembered another woman from another time, whose heart also had the same yearning and longing, the woman with the issue of blood. Although our reasons for this longing were different; she desperately needed physical healing where my heart needed to touch His and enter into the fullness of His love, we were both in a very needy place.
Under the Mosaic Law and regulations, menstruating women (those with the issue of blood) were considered unclean and were set apart for seven days. Anything or anyone she touched during this time were also considered unclean. People needed to wash their clothes after such an encounter. If the bleeding lasted longer than the seven days, the law was very specific that she needed to be treated as unclean until it ceased.
I can only imagine how desperately lonely and rejected this poor woman must have felt after being set apart for the twelve long, lonely years she had been suffering from menorrhagia (today’s diagnosis for abnormal, long, heavy and painful menstruation which can be cured through hormone pills or a hysterectomy). She surely must have been anemic as well by that time and according to Scripture she had spent nearly all her livelihood on doctors, but only got worse. In a small way I can relate to her loneliness and despair for I think that all Fm/CFS sufferers experience to some degree this being “set apart” scenario through the disbelief and subsequent distancing from medical professionals, friends or dear ones. Researchers are making progress, but are still unable to answer most of our questions about these debilitating diseases.
I am now speculating, but allow me to consider the probability that this lady was in the midst of a religious crowd surrounding our Lord Jesus and feared the risk of causing Him, or anyone in the crowd, to become ritually unclean through touching them and therefore hid herself after she had done so. I think she must have been so fearful of these hostile people who rejected her when she was in such a desperate place, needing their help and support! One thing that I do know without a doubt, was that both of us were at the crossroads of our lives and we could both hear our Pappa’s gentle encouragement, “Stand at the crossroads and look, ask for the ancient paths; ask where the good way is and walk in it. And you will find rest for your souls.” (Jer 6:16, NASB). We could both look and recognize the one and only true ancient Path, the only good Way, the only true Answer to our suffering, our Lord Jesus!
Like this lady, I also experienced severe spiritual, emotional and physical bankruptcy after battling this foe that had invaded and disabled my life for a long time and knew that I drastically needed something to change in my life. I am ashamed to admit that I also hoped our Heavenly Father would just transform Himself into a genie in a bottle and jump at my every command. But this Genie surely seemed as deaf as a doorknob, as blind as a bat and totally unappreciative of all my clever efforts!
I tried all the newest religious programs and gimmicks doing the rounds at that time. I am unable to recall how many times I confessed with my mouth and believed, or at least tried to, in my heart, that I was healed by our Lord’s stripes; I did more than my fair share of claiming my healing by faith and that in the name of Jesus, bound so many demons and commanded them to the bottomless pit that I was sure hell must have been a very empty place with them becoming a bunch of pit dwellers! I had hands laid on me more times than I would care to remember and received prayer after prayer, but all to no avail. Was our Pappa unwilling to heal me? Definitely not!
He was gently drawing me into His loving embrace until I had no other choice, just like the woman with the blood issue, than to crawl on my spiritual knees until I touched our Lord Jesus. Did He heal me? Of course!! He took the tatters of my broken life and started to heal me from the inside out. Although my illness is still very much part of my life, He has brought me to the place of sweet acceptance from where I am looking forward to the day when I will leave this old coat behind six foot underground, to receive a glorious, new one.
Dear Ones, I know from experience that the road we walk is hard and difficult and I will not dare try and trivialize the suffering you might be experiencing on a daily basis, but I do want to encourage you to allow your heart to follow strongly after our God, assured that His right hand is upholding you. Crawl, if necessary, to our Lord Jesus until you are near enough to touch Him again and again and again.
I want to love you and leave you with our Lord’s beautiful assurance, “However, those the Father has given Me will come to Me and I will never reject them.” (John 6:37, NLT)