What Have I (not) Done!
Pushing and shoving, dust and noise; the smell of bodies, the hubbub of celebrity- something novel was going on. I remember it like it was yesterday. When He came to town with his followers everyone seemed to sense it at once-in retrospect most folks were initially just drawn to the commotion as any curious onlooker would have been. While we all had heard of Him, none of us actually expected a visit to our little home, yet many of us were alerted by the shouting and ado as if there had been an accident in the street. In a sense, that is just what happened: an accident in the street- with hundred of witnesses- and one at least who ended up being a victim; me. The sad thing is, even though the event was so many years ago it is only now that I realize what had happened: and oh how I wish things would have turned out differently!
I wanted a glimpse and got way more than I bargained for; I ended up right in the middle of everything. All of a sudden I was pushed from behind and fell right into Him, almost knocking Him down. Startled, I recoiled back: then He looked at me. All I could do was stand there and try to look nonchalant with a stupid grin on my face as I caught His eye and His gaze bored into me, seemingly straight through to my very soul. Just a short second or two but my… the sweetness and curiosity in His eyes as time stood still. The next thing, He kind of jumped, and turned to the great big, hard looking fellow who was with Him saying, “Who touched me?” The big guy blinked as if to reply, “Are you crazy? Here you are in the middle of a mob and you want to know who touched You?” The big guy then kind of flicked his arms out and sent me sprawling into the dirt. The others with him were trying to explain that everyone was touching Him; but He turned behind Himself and then looked down at Smelly Agnes saying that He felt power going out of Him. “Who touched me?” He asked again.
Agnes was kneeling in the dust, and I was on the ground as well- my face was about six inches from her- and the look in her eyes… to this day when I think of it I get chills down my spine. She was an old beggar widow that we used to treat like dirt—all dried up, with a squinched up face, and heavens did she have an odor about her; she smelled like a rotting corpse. We used to steer as clear of her as possible and make up the most awful jokes: a woman of no account and one we considered a burden to us all; until now. I gasped from surprise as I fell next to her with a gasp; the fragrance that surrounded her was as a hillside in the spring when all was in bloom. Her face was transformed into that of a stunning young girl in the absolute pinnacle of feminine loveliness. “I did” she said.
She had grabbed the end of His cloak in her conviction that He was who He said He was; and His power had turned her into something completely new. I had fell on top of Him; so close that I could smell His breath and feel the sweat on His clothes—but since I only considered Him an oddity and kind of news item, I was the same as I had even been, even until this very day.
Dear Jesus; have mercy on me for I have sinned a great sin. Please, please, please… give me another chance, and I won’t screw it up this time. Amen.