By Jessie Bazan
Forgiveness is messy.
How often do I say, “It’s no problem; don’t worry about it,” to a person who’s hurt me — and not really mean it? I’ll make amends with my words, but my heart isn’t always as quick to catch up. It’s like getting a grass stain on a favorite pair of pants. You can wash and bleach, but it takes a while for that tarnished spot to go away.
Hurt can change our fabric — but it doesn’t have to ruin it.
The story of the dinner at the Pharisee’s house shows that infinite good can come from a mess. At the feet of Jesus lies a woman whose sins are well known. This illumination appropriately depicts her with a vibrant clash of colors. Her life is chaotic, and she brings that chaos into the Pharisee’s home. She brings her chaos to Jesus.
And he forgives her.
Illuminated in divine gold are the words, “Her sins which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love.” Christ is in the thick of the illumination, balancing the tensions of the dining room scene with the reverence of the woman.
The merciful love of Christ is made known in the mess. It cuts through the hurt.
It weaves our tattered fabric anew.
Jessie Bazan is a Master of Divinity candidate at Saint John’s School of Theology-Seminary and serves as the Seeing the Word graduate assistant.
Dinner at the Pharisee’s House, Donald Jackson, Copyright 2002, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.