The Bible has some very impressive women, Judith, Rahab, Esther, Jezebel, Mary, Michal, Bethsheba, Leah and Mary Magdalene, amongst many others.
I find a lot of comfort in reading about these women, whether they were real or not. However, with most of them, their strength and tenability came from a very patriotic place, a place where they sacrificed for the nation, adhering to the plan of Jehovah. Except for Jezebel, most of these women are also well regarded by the church. My interest is more in two women, who have been used as examples of sinners that God has forgiven and accepted – the wife of Hosea and Mary Magdalene. First, Mary Magdalene and this blog is about her. Although Mary Magdalene is the centre of so many cult discussions and conspiracy fiction, the controversy has always been on Christ’s relation to her, how moral or accepted it is. What I want to do is put myself in this woman’s shoe instead. Of being a prostitute, of being saved and accepted by a person who is supposedly the ‘Son of God’. Whether or not there was an illicit affair between Jesus and Mary is not the point of this writeup. Instead what I want to do is to understand her feeling when Jesus rescued her. Her confusion about his act of saving her, and her vulnerability as a prostitute. I want to bring in the sexual part of it, but more than that, I want to bring in the conflict between the possible need for acceptance and the possible detestation for the same. These thoughts are ones i imagine running in her head after she was almost stoned by a group of people and Jesus saved her by questioning the morality of the people who wanted to stone her. (John 8:1 -11)
I’m so bored with these men. The drama and the way they use my pain, my vulnerability. Do they know how pathetic they are? How awfully boring it has become for me to talk about them and think about them. But I am also afraid, that instinctive fear of being killed by madness, like what happened this morning. How I wish I could get over this fear.. Even if this is sin, as Yahweh says, aren’t the men sinners too? What about all the kings and their concubines? But sinner as I am, this man seems to not judge my act any worse than what the men do. Finally, someone who does not look at me as a bigger sinner. Sinner nevertheless. And what? When did someone who treats me an equal sinner to men become a ‘good man’? Oh Mary, you need to raise your standards again……..He probably still thinks the same as everyone else and he just took pity on a woman. Or he wants sex. Maybe he understands the pain of living with the fear of being stoned every day. My heart stopped in fear this morning. Or perhaps I shall find some protection in this man, who has already saved me once. I hear they hate him just as much and want to get rid of him too. Making a living this way is hard and do I always want to make my living this way? And what is there to be ashamed, when I’ve always been a whore anyway? Is there a place for me in heaven I wonder and perhaps it is boring up there. If sex is so much of a sin here, there must be none of that up there. I wonder what the son of god, or the son of man has to say about this.
What was it that he wrote? ‘If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’ What does he think sin is and really what is sin? Me loving so many men and comforting so many people??? Does he want to save me from my supposed sin??? These people and their unresovled sexual issues. But perhaps i can be his lover, hah! that shouldn’t be too hard now, men men men…Everything I heard about him seems interesting enough and if he actually walks on water, blimey, I would love to see that very much.
I’m confused about this man. If he becomes a historical figure, i hope they depict his sexiness too apart from this revolutionary side of his. Although I wonder if he is actually that revolutionary. Calling out the Pharisees will definitely get him stoned or crucified, at some point. Oh well, I just escaped those mad men and a stony death, so who am I to say anything. And he saved me. I am not sure what to think of being saved by him. Maybe life will be easier if a man like him accepts me as a normal person. Not someone to only go to when the flesh is betraying you, not someone who sins for a living or a living example of God’s punishment on Isreal, how refreshing! The only thing I want is to not fear for my life every minute and so I hope he’s better than his fathers.
His family, well he has some heavy genealogy. Sons of David. That man was a bastard. Perhaps he’s more like Solomon, that’s a better one. David and his greatness. I can’t believe he got away with all that he did. Poor Michal and Bathsheba. These righteous men, they wrought such pain on women and other men and they’re still worshiped. David actually tore these women from the men they loved and killed these men. God forbid I should catch the eyes of a royal man. I mean Herod wasn’t too long ago. They think they own everyone.
But this Jesus, I hear he doesn’t really want to be king. And if what they say about him is true, then I guess he doesn’t need to be king of any earthly kingdom.
And he is hot. Why not? Will I create problems for him? Well that is something he has to tell me. But he’s definitely interested. And surely, as a God, he can figure this out.
Perhaps I can go and listen to him speak and be around him. At least the company he keeps is not too holy. He’s got some taxpayer as a disciple!
Oh Mary Mary, go meet him first and see how it goes. at least this will take your mind off the stonings! Take it from there. He might, after all, turn out just like David; then you run for your life. Then again, he might just actually be just fun enough and kind as his preaching says. And maybe life gets better if he is what I hope he is, and maybe the son of God sees my need for engagement beyond accusations of sinnerhood and not confuse it with a need for him as a point of stability. Surely, God does not think this a sin!
1. This stream of thought was a result of a discussion with a few friends, one of who also wrote a monologue. A very similar but very different, intense and beautiful take on the same event:
2. The questioning of what sin is in this context was borrowed from a poem written in Malayalam and then further explored. In the poem, after Jesus asked her to sin no more, Mary looks up and asked him ‘what is sin?’
3. This is my imagination of what could be running in Mary’s head after Jesus saved her from being stoned.