Looking at Her
Simon answered, “I suppose the one who was forgiven the most.”
“That’s right,” said Jesus. Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, he said, “Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn’t quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn’t it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.”
Then he spoke to her: “I forgive your sins.” - Luke 7:46-48
After Simon misses the point, Jesus turns to bless the woman. He literally turns to bless her. Did you see that in the text? He's talking to Simon, but facing the woman. With her held their in his smiling eyes right in front of him, Jesus speaks highly of her. Everyone can here. Sentence of praise after sentence of praise pour out of Jesus's mouth like a fountain of blessing. There's something very powerful about that scene - it's like Jesus has her face cupped in his hands as he recounts all the kindness she has shown him for all to see and hear.
He keeps his gentle gaze locked on her and finally, without ever letting her eyes wander from him to the frowns and stares of the crowd, he pronounces her forgiven. He won't let her see anyone else's condemnation, only his forgiveness, only his acceptance.
She matters to Jesus. Jesus takes time with her. Jesus affirms her. Jesus sees, really sees her. And he sees you. The craziness of the world around you and the accusations piling up against you (even if they are coming from within your own troubled mind) - Jesus is locking eyes with you so those things don't distract you. Jesus is gently cupping your face in his hands to make sure you can see his eyes and know that every word is true and is just for you.
"I forgive you," he says.
Can you hear him? Can you receive the blessing?