It was a small town, everyone knew everyone. There was a saying that everyone knew where you were going and what you were doing before you did.
Most people knew who Mary was, she was born there and they watched as Mary grew up into a teenager, constantly getting into trouble and as she got into her twenties it didn’t change, her life went in a downward spiral. She would dig through garbage to find things to sell to buy more drugs and more alcohol. Yes, the people there either knew her or knew of her and anytime they saw her they would look the other way. They would whisper to others I saw Mary this morning, like always, she was either high or drunk.
One evening as Mary was digging through someones trash can she came upon something. It was barely holding together, tape and glue was all that kept it from falling apart. You see what she found was a Bible, someone had thrown it away. It had seen better days that’s for sure, the pages were barely holding on and there were markings and writing all through it. Mary flipped through it then put it in her worn out backpack, then made her way bac
k to the tent she lived in in the woods.
By the time she made her way back to her tent it had gotten dark so Mary started a small fire and sat down close to it. She reached out and pulled her backpack beside her pulling out the things she found that day. Lets see, what shall I have for dinner tonight she thought to herself, she pulled out a couple of dented cans of soup someone had thrown away. Using her pocket knife she pried open one of them and sat it by the fire to heat up. She then reached back into her backpack, pulling out the worn out bible she found. At first she gave it a quick glance then laid it down, because she heard her soup bubbling inside the can. This is nice, a hot meal for once she thought. As she was eating her eyes kept looking at the bible something was pulling at her to pick it up and so she did.
She started reading, flipping from one page to another. She never read the Bible before, she had people try to talk about it to her but she ne
ver wanted to hear what they had to say.
She was awake all night, reading verse after verse, she didn’t want to stop. As days went by people started talking, its been days since I saw Mary, I wonder if something happened to her they would say.
Something had happened to her alright, the night she found that bible, she gave her heart to the Lord, confessed all her sins and asked for Gods forgiveness.
When they finally saw Mary again, they almost didn’t recognize her. She was clean and sober. She had gotten a job and a place to live and told anyone who would listen how Jesus saved her. But you see even though she had changed there were still those who would say, just wait she will fall again. But she never let their judgment of her change her, in fact, as years went on she helped many others come to know the Lord. Like many before her……she was washed cl
eaned…..letting go of her past!
Just because someone once was on the wrong path in life doesn’t mean they cant change. Look at those the Lord used in the bible who had sinned some greatly but He forgave them and many became great servants for the Lord.
Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.