It was a spring day, warm and with a gentle breeze. Birds sang, flowers grew, and people laughed together as they worked.
I had not been working. The demons were restless that day. They took me and threw me against walls, made me rip at my hair, clothes, and skin. They screamed through my voice, tossed my head like a raging animal, shook me until saliva bubbled out of my mouth and trailed down my chin. People had thrown stones at me and cursed at me. I had fled wailing and crying.
I woke from the fit of the demons in an alley. Cuts and bruises littered my arms, legs, and face. My breath dragged through my throat like rough wood. So, I sat in the alley quietly to recover.
I heard voices and I shrank back in the darkness. A group of men passed following a Man.
I felt the demons stirring again. His love seeped out to touch me as He stopped at the entrance of the alley and looked at me. I stood – surely, this Man with mercy in His eyes would be able to help me. I limped toward Him, pulling my ripped clothes around me. He didn’t move until I was standing before Him.
I saw His companions. Twelve men. They drew back when they saw me.
I focused on His face; I didn’t trust what I’d see on their faces.
His face held mercy and forgiveness. The demons were raging inside, trying to get away. I lowered my head as I fought to keep control of my wits and my body. He held out His hand. “Look at me.”
I strained to lift my head, but the seven anchored my body.
Muscles relaxed as the demons stilled. He lifted my head. A sea of kindness and love ran loose in His eyes.
“Daughter, do you want to be free?”
The demons strained, but they couldn’t move. I had come to Him from the back of the alley with just that request in my soul. Now, my mouth refused to budge. Tears trickled down my face. It seemed impossible to voice my request. My heart shrieked what my mouth could not. He rested His hand on my forehead.
“You are free.”
The demons screamed wildly through my voice, desperately trying to escape this Man.
“Peace, be still. You are forgiven.”
Light and peace pierced my soul. I slumped to the ground.
Strong hands caught me and drew a tunic over my ragged clothes. I raised my head slowly. He was walking away.
Wait! My heart cried. Take me with you!
He stopped and smiled at me.
The man kneeling beside me smiled, “Don’t worry. He told me to bring you with us.”
Tears washed blood from my cheeks as I faltered to my feet.
The man steadied me saying, “His name is Jesus.”
Jesus, what a beautiful name. The Man who looked at me with love and mercy not hatred and disgust.
I smiled and wiped away my tears. No tears of frustration, sadness, or anger would spread over my face again, I vowed. Not while I was with Him.
*An excerpt from a short story I am working on, currently titled “Through the Eyes of Mary Magdalene”