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Mary Magdalene, Untethered

Updated on September 2, 2013
:...the only way out is up..."
:...the only way out is up..." | Source

I am a (wo)man of ill repute.

There is no way I can ever undo my shameful past. It is a constant. It is a given. It is indelibly written in the annals of notoriety.

No amount of good that I could ever do will ever change the fact that when it came to doing bad, i was the worst of the worst.

Even so, I enjoy a vantage point few possess.

When you've been at the deepest depth a human being could ever sink to, the only way out is up.

For several years now, I have been looking up.

And this is what I've found...

Jesus loves even me.

You could go to just about any Christian church in this country and revel in the powerful, dynamic, and invigorating testimonies from people who have been down and out--drug addicts, alcoholics, wife abusers, gamblers, gangsters, corrupt politicians, debtors, philanderers, carousers, ad infinitum. And all the congregations cry out--AMEN!

I wish I could give that kind of testimony. But my kind of past encumbers me.

I wish it didn't have to be that way because I have so much to share with you. But, sadly, I lack the courage to speak it. Even sadder yet--you lack the courage to hear it.

Nevertheless, the powerful hands that once pulled me out of the gutter and gently wiped the dung off my face cradle me now in this moment of reflection.

We stone each other in different ways these days. We fill our quivers with innuendo, our cannons with criticism, and our mouths with the cruelest barbs. We put our neighbor down that we might feel better about ourselves.

I don't know about you, but I can't afford to be discouraged. It was discouragement that took me to the depths in the first place.

Brothers and sisters, here is my choice: I choose to look up!

For in that heavenly moment ago, on a hill in a far country, precious blood eternally stained a tree of death that we might have a tree of life.

And on that level ground beneath that tree of life, I will be your equal.

Jesus loves even me.

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  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Something I felt strongly about motivated me to write this piece...one of my earlier efforts, and so it may have a little rough around the edges. I was the newsletter editor for our church, and so I used the opportunity one day to leverage this provocative piece. He came to save everyone, even and especially the "least of which," but sometimes there are those in an organized church who forget that very basic tenet. Thanks for reading this one. Aloha, and have a wonderful Thursday, my friend. I love how loyal and attentive you are, especially in light of how busy you must be. I wanted you to know I appreciate and respect you very, very much, Brandi!

    ~Joe

  • CraftytotheCore profile image

    CraftytotheCore 

    5 years ago

    Amen! Joe, there is nothing else I can add. You've said it loudly and clearly! I'm right there looking up with you. :D

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    6 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Ka'imi'loa

    You crack me up, brah! I get da kine gold card fo' get free drink after every 15 (soon to be 12) drinks. Silly, yeah? But I'm hooked on the energy. Almost finished another hub this morning but had to do some purchasing and other eBay errands the rest of the afternoon and evening. Gotta hit the sack soon...but first, I'm going to read your other two messages. Good night, bruddah!

  • benisan85745 profile image

    Ka'imi'loa 

    6 years ago from Tucson, AZ.

    I never gave into the whole "Java" shop-cafe/bistro/hipster paradise, where it cost $5.99 for coffee grown from the sunniest part of the pali in Sumatra, sprinkled with extra "gayness"...dear Lord, I'm gonna get it for that remark. In reality, the last time I stepped foot into a Starbucks was in Manoa Valley, O'ahu, I remember asking for a small coffee and he said "tall"?! Ugh, it turned into this whole "who's on first battle over coffee mind you.

    Anywhats, if it helps you write go for nuts bruddah, I basically live with earbuds and stream Hawaiian Kine 105 via internet, good fun listening to Billy V. still giving away gas cards to lucky listeners.

    Alo-ha! Uncle

    Ka'imi'loa

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    6 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Ka'imi'loa

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful testimony, bruddah! Good choice of favorite Bible character!

    I'm at Hastings Bookstore--the java department known as Hardback Coffee Cafe. Do they have a version of this in Arizona? Anyway, I'm the only lolo buggah in this place right now. It's quiet enough to write a Hub in, but I don't get quite the same buzz of energy as I get in a crowded Starbucks where some of my better articles were written. That's okay...I will make the literary journey somehow this morning, fueled by the shop's featured drink this morning (which yours truly, the tightest non-Chinese Pake you could ever meet this side of downtown Honolulu, delightfully put down on the counter a $1.99 coupon offer I got from off the web). Saved a couple bucks, which sorta paid for the two pastries I bought from the grocery store across the street. My wife would have a fit, but that's how I roll...I mean, literally, ROLL from coffee shop to coffee shop, writing my crazy Hubs.

    Aloha, bruddah! I going wait for a lull in the action--might be soon, might be later--to call you for a quality conversation. I'm honored to have met you through HP, Ka'imi'loa! You're good people, homes!

  • benisan85745 profile image

    Ka'imi'loa 

    6 years ago from Tucson, AZ.

    I have the ultimate coffe story which I'll will save for the personal emails. No worries, good fun.

    As for our Salvation, had I known, (previously to me swerving off the road at 2-3 o' clock in the morning that frightful dawn to drop to my knees and beg Christ to help me and save me), how hard the Christian walk was, Sh****t, I would have stayed aknucklehead...I was good at it ha-ha.

    My personal Bible hero is the man "the Apostle Paul". When I read that Christ walked with him while he was traveling, Christ struck him blind and after three days after his sight was restored, he began to preach and live for the Lord. Almost identical to my story. He prosecuted the church and stood watch as Christian martyrs were killed at his saying...whew, to close to home. His tetimonial and in his book of 1 Timothy 1:12-17, .." I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever"... Amen.

    That is what I have tattooed on my upper right arm bicep. To remind me of where I once was and where I am going.

    And your right, the whole WWJD movement, is pretty much unneccessary to ask...he gave the ultimate gift, His life.

    Ka'imi'loa

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    6 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Ka'imi'loa

    Thanks, bruddah! When I was a little boy, I used to hear about this ex-con who had his own editorial column in one of the Honolulu papers...I think it was the Star-Bulletin. Anyway, I read one of his articles, and--man!--was I blown away. Although I didn't have all the concepts down--being just a keiki--I remember admiring how this guy had turned his life around and was now being a blessing, not a curse, to his community.

    Thank the Lord for writing. It truly is an outlet...a catharsis...for the soul.

    A lot of people, when asked, will claim David or Moses or Noah or Samson, etc., as their favorite Bible hero. The one I have the greatest admiration and affinity for is Mary Magdalene.

    The Lord healed her and moved her in such a wonderful way that her life was tremendously transformed. But in a community of self-righteous, hypocritical, and condemning Pharisees, she still had to survive on a daily basis. Whatever the Lord had done for her did not mean much to those who had either used her in the veil of darkness or shunned her as a means of shunning their own "pilau" insides. She still had to go to the market; she still had to scrounge around for a part-time job; she still had to hold her head up when others clenched their fists, wanting so much to throw a rock at her but uncertain as to a strange presence that prevented them from doing so; and she still had to interact with several citizens in the Jewish community on a daily basis. She had the courage to persevere when daily pressed by the enemy to succumb to huge waves of shame, dwelling on the past, and all the negative thoughts of "I'll never be good enough...I'll never fit in...I might as well find a rope and..."

    But she never gave up, and she kept making better and better choices. That's why I love her, and that's why I pick her as my Bible hero of all times. Some people ask, WWJD? What would Jesus Do? Bruddah, He already did what He had to do. We each, on a daily basis, still need to choose at every single fork in the road. True love means free will...it involves the risk of making the wrong choice, even when we know we've already been saved. Grace is never cheap; it requires us, out of love for the One who gave us the perfect gift of all, to continually choose to do our part.

    You and I--we've got the same spirit. We've been given a huge life lesson and the accompanying request to now go forth and be a witness to others...not to be preachers, thank God ; )...but to be Eveready batteries sharing some hard-earned wisdom and light in our respective communities...

    We're doing just that, right here and now, through our writing on HubPages. If people don't like our style, that's okay. But if they do, then I praise God for the miracle of connections...that heavenly magic that makes you scratch your head and say, "Wow! What a small world!"

    Like I felt just a few minutes ago when I read about your encounters with Kapono Beamer and the other kanaka (sad to hear about that incident).

    I gave you enough hints to connect the dots, too...but mo' bettah saved fo' da future da kine meeting...you drink coffee?

  • benisan85745 profile image

    Ka'imi'loa 

    6 years ago from Tucson, AZ.

    If Lord willing He sees to it that we should ever meet, I will be there. As sick as I am, I figure in time, we both can find a way to mend what little we still harbor from our past. What I still have to face everyday I see my wife's face, is what tears away at my soul every minute of it. *hug*, a cyber hug to you and I hope whatever becomes of this weirdly-all of a sudden-friendship between Kanakas, is guided only by the hand of our Lord. Until then you have one good bruddah left.

    Ka'imi'loa

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