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Forgiven Daughter


(Based on Luke 7:36-50)

The butterflies in her stomach wouldn't stop. The son of God, Jesus, would be walking through the door soon. She straightened her skirt dyed blue from indigo flowers and held a little-too-tightly her alabaster jar of perfume as she silently waited in the corner.

She was still in awe at her good fortune to end up in the home of Simon the Pharisee, a religious man of God! She didn't want to draw any attention or ire.

Every now and again a guest would look her way with disgust or haughtiness, and her eyes would shoot quickly to the floor. Most, thankfully, ignored her.

Thoughts swirled around her mind like bats on a midnight rampage. If only she could send them away! "Would Jesus indeed be a friend to sinners or were those just rumors? Earlier that day he had said to the crowd, 'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.' Did he mean it? Would she be able to give him this precious gift that had cost so much? Would he throw her out the door in disgust?..."

When the holy son of God walked through the door, all thoughts of herself fled. To her surprise, Jesus was not welcomed with a kiss, nor his head anointed with oil, nor did anyone come to even wash the dirt off his feet, all common practices to show guests respect. And this guest above all others! Her face turned apple red.

Jesus' head turned her way as if sensing her as his eyes found hers; his look threw her off-balance, off-kilter, so unlike what she was used to seeing in men's eyes; the complete love undid her, like someone taking an onion and peeling away the layers.

When he sat down, she softly approached from behind, stopping at one point and almost retreating; she finally took her last steps forward until she was right behind him. The tears fell quietly at first and then became a running creak gaining speed. Something in his spirit... Soon it was a torrent that muddied the dirt on Jesus' feet.

She gently got down on her knees, threw her long locks forward, her crowning glory, and began to wipe Jesus' feet. He did not jerk away in disgust. The son of God!

As a gleaming strand became stained black, the dark stain in her soul started to blead out. The slaps, shoves, empty promises…the bad choices that had driven in hardpacked, softened as whispers of peace gently started to creep in through the cracks. She lovingly kissed his feet.

Eventually she glanced to the side where her alabaster jar sat, carefully picked it up and began to gently pour the fragrant perfume onto Jesus' feet, honoring him the best she knew how.

Simon's eyes widened even further. He could barely stay calmly in his seat anymore over what he was seeing. A combination of disgust and disappointment percolated within. He had intended to impress his neighbors with his big-name guest. The talk of the town. This amazing prophet he had heard about. But, indeed, this man must surely be a fraud. A prophet would never let such a sinful woman touch him! And what was she doing here anyway? He would need to have some conversations with his household. What must his guests be thinking?!

Simon then felt Jesus eyes bore straight through to his soul as he said, "Simon, I have something to tell you."

His voice brought the woman up short at its calm authority. She quieted her movements.

Jesus began to tell a story, a parable, which he was known to often do. Would anyone understand the connection between forgiveness and love in it?

Then lightening ran through her as "…he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, 'Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little. Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven…Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

The woman got up from the floor, bowed before Jesus and then quietly left. The people she passed by on the road did a doubletake. "Is that really…?" Although her beautiful hair was askew, radiance surrounded her with every step; she knew who she was: daughter of the most high king. 

And "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:18

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Learning to BeliEVE.

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We Heart Matters Publishing gals care about women. Their joys. Their struggles. Their everyday, ordinary lives. We write from those very same places hoping to uplift, challenge and encourage your soul and deepen your faith.

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  • Julie


    I’m turning 62 this year. I can hardly believe it myself. But, I’ve decided that I no longer want to live comfortably. I want to live with a spirit of adventure like I had in the past. To be unafraid of what’s new or different. I want to remain so open to the Spirit of the living God that his love compels me to go wherever he leads me.
  • LuAnn


    I am passionate about people leaning into all that Jesus is. You. Me. Us. Journeying together with God. This is my greatest blessing. And now that my kiddos are out on their own, I’m learning to navigate my new normal. And I am finding there is life after little ones and teens after all!
  • Emilie


    I am currently finishing my degree in relational communications and plan to graduate in the spring of 2020!! I am thankful I have had time to grow, heal, appreciate a slower pace of living, and to invest more time into relationships with family, friends, and God. Through this process I am learning what I want to prioritize in my life and figuring out ways to make that happen. Most of all, I am figuring out that life is all about process, taking steps closer to where I want to be and celebrating the little victories but also accepting that there will be setbacks and disappointments along the way.
  • Sally


    Sally Cranham is a singer and writer from the UK. She uses biblical narrative and her own experience to write deeply into the heart of the human condition. She currently works as a volunteer for SourceMN as their Arts Outreach Coordinator and has lived as a Residential Volunteer at Source’s anti-trafficking transitional annex alongside women who have come out of the life of prostitution.
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