I know of a woman…in trouble…battered and abused…currently accused and on trial. She is lost and very sad. The beauty she once had is covered with the thick make-up of artificial beauty. Her eyes have lost their glimmer; her voice…unsure. She bears a faint resemblance of what she used to be. Her reputation is marred; Distrust has been her companion. Most of her children have forgotten her, enticed by worldly pursuits, save the few who recognized their mother’s plight and struggled and pleaded for her to come to her senses…and now stand by, watching in sadness…helpless…waiting.
It wasn’t always this way.
She came from humble beginnings. She was the product of noble parents, immigrants from a troubled world. She grew in grace, industry, with a rugged beauty envied by those around her. She was admired for her independence, and envied for her successes. In a quaint chapel, she pledged herself to a man who promised his loving care and protection in return for her faithfulness, love, and loyalty to him. They prospered through the years, despite fits and starts, and their children grew to be favored by many. He kept his promise and maintained his integrity with her, and she enjoyed many years under his care.
However, somewhere along the way, other men also desired her. Somehow, they managed to redirect her love and desire for her husband. I don’t know how they did it…but, whatever they did, they were clever. They enticed her to want more than what her husband already provided. As she fell for them, she slowly lost love for her husband. He tried to remind her of his love, but…convinced by “encouragements” from these “new friends” (these “suitors”, if you will)…she began to slowly replace the tokens of his love with their tokens instead. These friends were fun, exciting, alluring, tempting…and rich. It wasn’t long before she removed him from her presence and began to entertain these “friends” more often. They came to her home. The unsuspecting younger children were distracted and caused to “legitimately” forget their father, while the older ones were distracted with presents of fun, debauchery, and entertainment. Once the children were sufficiently distracted, these “suitors” would take advantage of the mother….and she willingly gave in to the parties, excitement, money, influence, and power they offered her. She sincerely thought she needed them in order to succeed and prosper in her new world. And she did…for a time.
Despite rejecting her husband, this woman still longed for one to fill his place, and these friends were more than willing to help. Many men filled the position of “husband”, but they only lasted long enough for them to “get their fill”, rob her of her virtue, and use her to climb the ladder of influence and power. The most recent one…abusive, manipulative, a master of words, and hungry to dominate her.
As the children forgot their father, many began to mimic these “friends”: One became engaged with prostitution. One gambled the family’s assets to ruin. One…imprisoned for violence and murder. Another was steeped in debt. Another suffered depression and was hooked on drugs. One was so distracted with his “toys and gadgets” that he could care less about what happened to his mother and siblings.
However, two children, a brother and sister, saw past the distractions and noticed that their mother was being abused. The brother feared for his mother’s safety, and the sister…her mother’s survival. I know them well…and they are angry, sad, and worried. They pleaded with her and their siblings, to no avail. Even well-meaning friends are unsure of how to help. They have since found and contacted their father and have tried to “wake up” their mother and siblings…but the allure of these new friends was just too strong.
Now, a few years later, this mother sits on the seat of the accused. Her accusers are these suitors, these friends, who have falsely accused her of being too rich, too powerful, and a disgrace to those around her. They accuse her of neglecting her family, of deceiving to gain power, of disloyalty, and too many other reasons to count.
In truth, these friends (suitors!) really don’ t want justice for these things they accuse her of. (They caused it to happen. They convinced her to think she wanted them, and she unwittingly did the rest to fulfill their desires. She was deceived; they were the instruments of deception. ) They knew she had rejected her first husband…who also happened to be a great judge. And to him, they presented her. They didn’t seek justice from her. They had already stripped her. They had her kids. They took her virtue. They took her home. Now, all they wanted was for the husband to condemn her…and reject her…as she did to him.
She knows who he is. Her defiance against their accusations, and a bit against him, tries to mask the shame you could see in her eyes. He sees that shame. And as he listens to these accusers now, he sees them for what they are trying to do. As the judge, he listens until they finish their accusations, while he watches her listen–helpless now, and hopeless.
What will he say?
The verdict still waits…
I feel sorry for this woman. My heart mourns for her, for what she went through to get to this point… for what she used to be…a woman of great promises, a woman of virtue, of beauty, of grace. Compassion is what tugs in me for this lady…despite all that she has done now. Compassion is what I wish for all to have for her. Yet, I have hope for this lady….for promises were made…not to be broken,…but to be kept…as an anchor, as reminders of a way back to what she used to be. The promise made in that chapel was not broken by one ; it was only neglected by the other. The promise still stands…but on one condition: she must return to him and her family and abandon all else that had come between them. That’s the bridge of hope that I see. But that is up to this woman….and this husband…who now both stand in trial…with each other.
Please…pray for this woman and her children…for she has a name.
Her name is…America.
(See also John 8:1-11)