Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Prostitute Who Loved Much

Dragonfly, clinging to the white aluminum siding of our house 

Long ago, in another place, I knew a woman who did not love. She was judgmental towards people, including me. She acted above us. She had the gifts of criticism, finger-pointing, correcting others. I never heard her admit she was wrong about anything. As for the rest of us lowerlings, we were very, very wrong.

One time I asked her, "We are followers of Jesus. Jesus told us to love one another. Can't we just love one another?"

I see her sitting before me, non-responsive. She loved little, seemingly not at all. I wondered, had she not experienced her own massive need for the forgiving, merciful, gracious love of Jesus?

Longer ago, on the far side of earth, a prostitute was standing behind Jesus. She was weeping. She lowered herself to her knees, and began wetting Jesus' feet with her tears. She wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and poured perfume on them. 


Because, she thought, Jesus might be able to forgive her sins, which were many. 

Those who come to grips with their own inherent sinfulness  have compassion towards people. They love people, a lot. 

Jesus explains this reality to his disciples. He says, 

Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven
— as her great love has shown. 
But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” 
Then Jesus said to her, 
“Your sins are forgiven.” 

Luke 7:47-48

I often think of how much I have been forgiven of, especially when I take communion. Most of what I have been forgiven of is deeper than my awareness. Christ has forgiven me of more than I could ever know.

Jesus is saying, the more awareness of God's mercy and grace that has been given me, the less I will despise, and the more I will love; the less I will judge, and the more I will relate to.

The woman who did not love lived in oblivion to her own failure. The prostitute who grieved over her failure became the woman who loved much.

My two books are:

Leading the Presence-Driven Church

Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God

I am currently writing...

How God Changes the Human Heart

Technology and Spiritual Formation

Then, Linda and I will co-write our book on Relationships.