It’s been a very interesting time in the news to say the least. Brett Kavanaugh’s seemingly upcoming nomination to the Supreme Court has even further solidified the division in our country. It’s a very emotional time for many. Reading through the numerous public opinions of friends, family, celebrities, etc. has been polarizing. My prayer has constantly been, “Lord, please bring darkness into the light and let truth prevail.” The shame of it all is that will the truth ever really come to light? Who knows if anything will come from the allegations of sexual misconduct. And that to me, is the shame of it all.
I’ve heard both sides of the debate. Frankly, men are afraid of being falsely accused in this time of #metoo and #timesup movements and it is totally understandable. I, myself, am married to an upstanding man in the public eye. There is always the possibility of being falsely accused of anything. But how can we do anything but understand the other side of the argument that begs the question: What about the women? How many have felt completely helpless and unable to come forward with their struggles with harassment? I have known women personally that have never felt free to come out in the open with their heartbreaking stories. I know full well the damaging effects of it. So, how do we pull together under these circumstances?
The only way I know how is to turn, once again, to Jesus’ example.
One of my favorite stories is in Luke 7:36-50. Simon the Pharisee asked Jesus to his home for dinner. A broken and sobbing, woman enters. She anoints his feet with a bottle of very expensive perfume, raining tears while kissing his feet, wiping them with her hair. The men in the room witnessing this, talk about her like she isn’t even there. They are offended by the “sinner” in their presence.
Simon thinks to himself, “If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him.” Jesus tells him a story where Simon realizes what Jesus is after - his heart. Jesus says that this woman was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. The interesting thing is that Simon has an ungrateful heart and does not understand that his need for Jesus was just as great as this sinful woman. He was blind. Call it pride. Arrogance. Ignorance even. He could not see that he too had been “forgiven much.”
The point here is often overlooked. There is a tendency to label and shame women, even here by these seemingly pious men. Simon was embarrassed that Jesus would allow such a “sinful woman” to touch him. Yet, Jesus confronted him about his judgmental assumptions. It is unmistakable Jesus' heart of compassion for this woman as He encouraged her by saying, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” I love that when we all fall short and miss the heart of Jesus, we can still go to him without shame. We will each find acceptance and hope.