Mary, The Beginning
Posted by adventbiblestudy on April 20, 2011
Mary laid there in bed, looking into the darkness of the room. The room darkened by shades drawn tightly around the window. She was being held by the only one she had ever loved. This one was different, this one talked to her, held her, asked about her feelings. He would tell her about his home, and how he felt about things. He told her about the loneliness he felt. Mary knew, this man was different. It has only been a few weeks, but Mary believed, she was falling in love.
Her mind drifted away into the future, to the home he had talked about, his vineyard by the sea side. She thought about their life together, how he would hold her hand so patiently while he showed her how to clip each branch of the vine. She thought about helping him gather the branches, pulling weeds, doing all that was required to help vines grow strong. She thought about him showing her how to plant wheat, and how to harvest. There was so much she did not know. She had never realized this before, but she was never in love before. She thought of all the learning ahead, all the work ahead. Anything was better then what she did for a living now. Any thing at all was better then that.
Mary thought of the hot summer nights together, sleeping on the sea shore. The embrace of his arms as they watched the sun come up over the calm water. She could almost feel the sand between her toes. For the first time in her life, Mary felt her heart at peace. Still, Mary felt a need to pray.
“I thank you Lord, for sending someone to love me, someone who cares about me.” Tears began to well up in her eyes, she felt so much happiness, more then she knew she deserved. She continued. “Lord forgive me for my sins, forgive me for my past. Lord …….. I …… I just did not know any better. Can you forgive me Lord? Can you? Can you make me a whole woman, a new woman, a woman this man could really love; a woman this man deserves? Lord, I am so unworthy ……. but please Lord, hear my prayer.”
He got up and began to get dressed. Mary put on her purple silk robe. She knew all the men loved the way that robe hung over her body. There was not another material that would provide that effect. Some times the men would just pay extra to see her in that rode. That was a thought she wanted to leave behind. Now her life was changing, she knew her life was going to change forever. This time for the better.
They kissed as he held her tight. She had just noticed how quiet he had been today. She needed a chance to think, and this was the first time she had a chance to just lay there in his arms, and let her mind wonder. The moment was special. She asked him if he would return again tonight. She knew she would start missing him the minute he walked through the door. He didn’t give her the answer she was looking for, he only said, “maybe, I have a lot of catching up to do.”
When he opened the door, the light of the day hurt her eyes. Mary shaded her eyes with her hand as he went through the door. All she could see was his dark outline leaving the room. Mary went, sat back on the bed, and began to think of what she felt in her heart.
A thousand thoughts went through her mind. She really had no idea what to expect next. She knew what she wanted, but was all of this going to come true? Mary got up, opened the window and let the light of the day into the room. She thought to herself, “what am I going to do with the rest of this day”? She let her mind drift back into her thoughts about the future.
Mary’s thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the door. In a moment her mind was drawn back to reality. “Oh no” she thought to herself, “I don’t want to do this any more.” Tears once again welled up in her eyes, as she went to the door she prayed to herself, “Lord show me a way out of all of this, please.” She had plenty of money saved up. She knew she really did not need to work any more.
Mary opened the door, just a bit. She did not want to let them in, but as soon as she opened it a crack, some one pushed their way in. There were more men then she could count. One of them grabbed her and pushed her on the bed. She sat there with a finger pointing her in the face. It was one of the priests, she could tell by the robes he wore. There were a few of them, and a couple of temple guards. Her mind was stunned. The priest was yelling at her, pointing his finger in her face. “You harlot. We know what you have been up to. We know who you are. The law demands judgment for all the evil you have brought to this land. For all the curses you have brought down from God. Your day of judgment has come.”
Two of the guards garbed her, one on each arm. It felt like they were intentionally trying to pull her apart. Mary thought to herself, “why me God, why now?”. She did not want to put her love in harms way, so she did not say a word.
All of them turned and walked quickly out through the door, two of the guards pulling her along. She cried out, “at least let me change.” They ignored her plea as they walked along in a hurried pace, almost like they did not want to be seen in such a low part of town. The way they carried themselves gave her the feeling, they wanted to be seen, to be noticed.
Mary had to almost run to keep up with them, her bare feet stumbling along the pavement at times. She almost feel, but the grips on her arms were firm. “Tight enough to leave marks”, she thought to herself.
As they took her through the streets crowds began to gather behind them. She wondered to herself, “why me Lord, why now?” She started to cry. A few moments ago her life was all right in front of her. She could feel it, touch it, a brand new life. One that she had always hoped and prayed for, and now this. In a moment it was all being taken away. In a moment …….. was her life over? She just realized what this was all about, and she knew …….. this was the end?
The heat of the day made her dizzy, she had not eaten all day. Mary felt so weak and tired, so helpless. At last they had arrived at the temple gate. She did not want to look up, she never went there on her own, she had never been inside of it’s gates. She felt so ashamed, this was not the way she wanted God to see her. Especially not on her last moments here on the earth. Now all she could do was cry. All she had on her mind was facing God, a God she hardly knew. A God that up until a few weeks ago, she had no use for. A God …….. she knew so little about. It was now fear that gripped her. It was as if fear was the only thing she had left in this world.
They stopped in the court yard and threw her down on the ground. She did not even have the strength to get up, and neither the desire. She knew, this is it, this is the end. She prayed one more prayer, “God give me the strength to protect my love. Be with him and look over him”
Then she heard the priest speak, “we caught this woman in the very act of adultery. You are a wise man. You know that the law of Moses’ commands, that this woman must be stoned. So what do you say we should do”?
That was it, the words Mary did not want to hear. But, caught in the act? They did not catch me in the act. She thought about speaking up to defend herself, but then she thought, “if I do I would be condemning my love, I could never do that. I will face this on my own. Lord give me strength. Let your will be done.”
There was total silence. God gave Mary the strength to stop crying. She did not want to look up. All she could hear was a little scratching noise, murmur or cough every now and then, but on one talked. Not a sound. Mary once again prayed. “Dear Lord, if you can hear me, give me one more chance. Let me change. Show me how to change. Forgive me Lord. Forgive me …… forgive me.”
Then Mary heard, one by one, the sounds of stones dropping on the pavement. Each one sending a wave of emotion through her heart. Then foot steps, walking away. She was afraid to open her eyes. Then, a total silence. After a while she heard some one get up to her. She could hear foot steps approaching her, and then a voice say, “Woman, where are your accusers? No man has condemned you.” Mary thought to herself, “my accusers, the men that brought me here, or the feeling I have in my heart, accusing me.” She thought for a moment and answered, “no man, my Lord”. And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”