We walk into the stately brownstone, Jesus and me. It is a big, empty house and I joke, “I should have went for the hotel the boy offered.” Jesus didn’t laugh. There is a dusty old mattress on the floor, and a blanket. The boy and I are there. I turn to Jesus.
“Look how young I look,” and I am surprised that I am pretty.
“You were young. You couldn’t vote for another two months.”
“He is so handsome,” I say, and sadness settles into my throat.
Jesus takes my hand in His.
I cannot control the urge to cry. I whisper, “Jesus.” For a while, the name of Jesus is all I can say. Jesus holds me and rocks me. He is tender. He is crying, too. Finally my tears subside, “Lord, I really loved him.”
“I know you love him.”
“Will I always?”
Jesus looks at me, and the love in His eyes takes my breath away. “Yes, but it won’t hurt anymore.” He beckons me to look.
The room is illuminated. There are angels all around.
“Angels?” I say. I groan. “Don’t tell me there were angels.”
“There are always angels,” He says.
I watch. The boy and I are on the mattress and he is kissing me. Soon it will happen. I won’t be a virgin anymore, and I won’t be his wife either. I say to Jesus. “I can’t look at this.” There is a difference, though. I’m not seeing this as some weird porno “this is your life” from hell. Jesus is here, and I am seeing this from the perspective of eternity.
I close my eyes and I become the girl on the mattress. There are these awkward movements and my body does things that embarrass me. I am horrified. The boy makes a joke to reassure me, but I don’t feel better. I experience all that did on that day--every feeling: mental, physical and spiritual, only it’s different. I know that Jesus is here.
The angels avert their eyes.
Jesus speaks to me. “It is a mystery, and even now, I will not reveal the whole of it to you. You will become one with him, and he with you. This is how it has been since creation. You will not understand for many years what took place here, but you will feel its impact for the rest of your life. It will shape your sexual history, and how you feel about yourself. This is why I had to bring you back here. This moment changed your life.”
There is pain. I wonder what I am doing. How did I get here? It hurts so much. My hands try to push the boy away and he asks me if I want him to stop.
The boy says something to me that is uncharacteristically mean. Everything changes for us. If you didn’t know your heart can break in an instant, let me tell you that it can. A breath escapes my mouth, that carries with it an unintentional prayer.”
Jesus said, “You told me you were sorry in that breath.”
“But, I didn’t say anything,” I said.
“I heard what your heart said. I speak the language of sighs and tears.”
Then I am standing with Jesus again. I look back at the two kids on the mattress, and He is with them, too. He has his arms around both of them, and I am glad that Jesus is there for the boy, too. He draws the girl closer. He whispers in her ear, “You are forgiven. I love you. I died for this sin. You must forgive yourself, now. You must forgive the boy. It is time.”
The floodgates open, and I can’t stop crying again. “You are forgiven.” Jesus says this to me, again and again.
I find myself transformed. I am wearing a white dress, and I am the virgin bride of Christ awaiting my Bridegroom. I am back in now—39 years old again. There is water. I am standing on an ocean of love. The waves are quite manageable, beloved. I am walking on water. I am forgiven. I forgive the boy. I begin to laugh because in the light of eternity, this is such a tiny thing, and yet it is big enough for God to care about. Thank you, Jesus, counter of the hairs on my head. Thank you, Jesus, my First Love, and the Lover of my soul.
I am so happy that I dance. The angels dance with me.
Daughters of the Lord, put on your blood washed dancing gowns, and dance on water with me, for we are forgiven. Praise God, we are forgiven.
In Love Himself,