Today I have been struck by the emotions depicted in the way these pictures tell a story through “looks” (Read the story here)

All sorts of judgemental looking going on in the painting by Dieric Bouts. I wonder if you identify with any of them?

The overall composition of the picture makes me feel distant, almost as if it is encouraging me to be a judge of what is going on.

The painting by Donna Mitchell has a very different point of view.

I find it difficult to imagine that anyone looking at this could have an expression like the one painted on Jesus face in the first picture. I can imagine the awkwardness, disdain and contempt expressed by the other people in the room though.

What would it look like from the perspective of the woman ?

I suspect that she wasn’t looking. I hope she was caught up in the moment and that gave her the strength to ride out the looks which stormed round the room. Perhaps some were not hostile, just patronising. Perhaps she was used to glances like that whatever she did. How often our passions are crushed by glances from those around us, friends and enemies.

When Jesus spoke to say that her sins were forgiven, was it similar to the way he spoke when telling Lazarus to come out of the tomb. At that time he didn’t speak for the benefit of God, or perhaps even for Lazarus. He spoke so that the crowd could hear.

The woman already knew that her sins were forgiven, she knew that Jesus would not reject her action, or embarass her. A powerful place to be in while all others around you are caught up in the storm. Like poverty, the storm will always surround us. Our lives might be a mess, and we may have no clear idea about how we can make them any better. However, like the woman, we can let our love dare others to scorn us. We can wed ourselves these precious moments and find peace.

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