The Filthy Sinner
Oh, that poor woman that Jesus encountered at the well in John chapter four. What guilt and shame! What a burden! Never mentioning her failures, trying to hold her head up as she carries on her daily business. And her fellow Samaritans? The ones who knew her? The ones who’d stood back in the shadows of righteousness and peeked at her going through five husbands…Oh, did we mention that she’s now shacking up with a dude who’s not her husband? The wagging heads and busy tongues? Who knows what they were saying behind her back, but she knew they were saying something. About her…about me…about women like us.
But she never says a word about her past to anyone. She knows that it’s far worse than what they know. I put on my makeup, spray my hair, and dress to kill. Hiding and running from the truth about me and about God.
I get a little confused about who we’re talking about here because she is me, and I am her. I have a lot in common with that woman. Maybe we all do, but I see me.
The irony of hidden sin is that it’s never really hidden. Maybe “they” don’t know the depth of it, but you do…I did. And God does. And I knew that God knew. So do you. As David said in Psalms 51, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ALWAYS before me.”
My tailor-made garment of sin? It was there when I tried to find sleep in the dead of night, and it raised its ugly head when I awoke in the morning. And like a coarse, wooly garment, it tormented me day and night – in secret. “Why is she twitching and squirming?” They had no idea. Or maybe they did.
I tried to stop. I really did. But like trying to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, it was impossible to “get my life together.” I was powerless. Maybe it was because that little voice (the demonic one) keep reminding me of my filth. “God can’t love you, you hypocrite. It’s over! You might as well give up.”
Or maybe it’s because I just didn’t want to be fully exposed. I hated the thought of public nakedness.
But then, when the light of Jesus shined on the secret me – on my disgusting and sinful self – when it all came to light, and I couldn’t hide it anymore – when all the world knew about me and my hidden sin, when I realized that I was already naked (except for the garment of sin), that’s when the healing began. When I came to the end of the road and realized that I couldn’t juggle my public self and my secret self any more, I was finally in a position for God to do something with me.
Ironic, isn’t it? All that hiding – all that running from the one who could heal me, and it was only when I ran to the one I feared the most that I was made right. Just as if I’d never done anything wrong in the first place.