Cost of the Oil
All she knew was the cruel touch of lust filled men; rough hands that grew impatient with the layers of clothes she had on. Voices stained with fermented grape juice crescendo curses and eyes filled with strange excitement and unholy lust stared at her. The adrenaline had run out and the thrill of her disobedience turned to guilt and emptiness. Khata (sin), had left her Nephesh (being) bruised, battered and without hope. There seemed to be no turning back for the light at the end of the tunnel had sunk into oblivion and no star shone in her dark night sky. Beholding the results of her choices made her cringe and she herself recoiled when she thought about the person she had become.
Then they came, frequent customers now turned foes, dragged her from her bed of trade. Business transaction left undone, but that was the least of her troubles. Rough hands, hands that once traced the contours of her hills and valleys, now grasp her, not in throes of love or compassion; but rough hands, now condemn her to death. They threw her before HIM. She could not even look at him for her guilt was too much and now for sure she was to pay the price for a life lived in sin.
She held her breath, hoping that would lessen the pain of stones pelting the delicate skin of her half-naked flesh. Master, they addressed him. Hypocrites! She knew that did not truly revere him as such. She had made them comfortable and they had told her their secrets. “This woman, (Now they forgot her name) was caught in the very act of adultery! The Law of Moses says that such a one should be stoned!” He stooped, writing in the dust. Almost as if HE did not hear them. She waited… “What sayest thou?” He continued writing. Drawn by some unseen force they looked at the ground. “What sayest…” Then they saw it.
An electrified bolt of guilt and shame washed them, the Eldest began to sweat. Specific, unadulterated and clear, they saw the records of their own sins. A pause, (which seemed like an eternity) and HE stood. “He that is without sin, cast the first stone.” They looked at the ground, presented before them the glaring evidence of their own hypocrisy and sins; they looked at each other, they looked at her. Mangled hair, half covered body, bones braced for impact; they left beginning at the eldest.
Then there was silence. “Woman, where are those thine accusers, hath no man condemned thee?” She looked at him. His face, filled with ardent compassion, his eyes with a depth of love she had never seen before, his melodious voice like a breath of fresh air on a hot summer day, gave her courage to speak. She recognized who he was. “None, My LORD, “she replied. Then said he “Neither do I, go thy way and sin no more.”
She had no tears to cry, neither voice to sing, yet she knew that he knew what she felt, so she went her way. She felt the pain and guilt more keenly than she ever had before that night, this time though, she felt pain and guilt not only because of her woeful life but because she had constantly rejected him. The only one who really loved and valued her, all she did was reject him. Yet said he, “Woman, neither do I condemn thee.”
She could not sleep so she prayed. She had to find him, had to find a way to thank him had to find nobler ways of expressing her gratitude. The alabaster box. She loved perfume and so did the men who plied her trade with her. Yet this one was her most treasured possession. Taking it in her hand, she went in search of him at the breaking of the day. Many hours later, she found him.
He saw her and the room grew silent. His face did not reflect the sudden scorns that her presence solicited from the crowd. Instead, a serene, peaceful smile came across his face as his eyes once again lit with compassion and love for her. She moved and with each step she saw her life flashed before her. She saw the many times he tried to get her attention, the times she disregarded his advice. Most prominently, she saw the time she was given to death and he gave her life. Then the tears flowed as she fell at his feet, yet even her tears could not stop her from fulfilling the purpose for her search, to anoint his feet.
An ordinance of humility, her praise she poured out as she used her hair to dry his feet. Simon had a problem but HE quieted him with his words. She had accomplished her goal, she left. His words followed her and echoed in her ear: “She loves much because she has been forgiven much… Go thy way and sin no more.” They did not know the cost of the oil in her alabaster box, but JESUS did.
Based on Luke 7:36-50