Redeemed- a journal entry

A writing from my journal…
I do know this- I held a yoke of great burden; my sin and accompanying shame nearly crushed me. The weight of it too heavy to bear at times. And I sat there- crumpled, bleeding, covered in the remnants of lust given into, crying, and even dry-heaving from the great shame. Then at times I sat silent as dry bones, eyes gazing into nothing- dead inside………. and there You bought me. 
You went to the Punisher who owned the shackles I was in and you paid for me. The reality of that transaction was like this- 
As I sat out front, hands bound and heart the same, you were taken behind the building and in the alleyway you were beaten, brutalized and punished. Each blow, each rip, each spewing cussing hate-filled slew was supposed to be mine. I was sitting in my shame pit awaiting my punishment. But you were paying for me. 
When they were done they left. You remained, crouched in the alley, barely breathing. The torturers left you to die. And you did …. You did. You crumpled and fell, your blood hit the ground, the dirt and your sweat and tears mingled, but…… you did it for me. 
I sat out front, still desperately lost in despair, unaware of the fare you had paid. . .
Then the wind blew, and the trees whispered and you breathed again. Because you came back to life, because their whipping and beating and punishing didn’t forever hold you down, you had completely paid my debt. 
In truth, my lusts led me into their captivity. My shame and what I owed because of it kept me there. But that very moment that you inhaled again, you set. me. free. I didn’t know it yet, but eternally I had been won back, I had been purchased. 
You stood now without pain, though the scars remained. You brushed off the dust of the alley and you stepped forward. The torturers had been carousing inside, drinking in their win and gloating at still owning me. But you walked by and through a ratty, cloth-covered window they watched as the beaten-one passed by, wounds but no blood. Victorious. 
“He’s alive,” they whispered. And in that they realized the consequence, “She is free…” 
You rounded the building, triumphant, with joy flowing from you. You did it all for me, to have me. I had gone astray, far and away, yet for great joy to have me again at your side of love, you came after me. 
My back was toward you, I didn’t know you had come. Tears happened to be streaming down my cheeks and I silently sobbed remembering, hating myself. 
Your hand was all of a sudden warm and strong on my shoulder. The love it brought nearly seared me- somewhere within me I wondered, ‘How do I receive this when my entire being writhes in self-disgust?’ But the tenderness remained. You didn’t speak. You waited. Your love is patient and gentle. 
I began to trail my finger through the dirt I sat in, contemplating your love offer, but going through the mental gyrations of how you could not possibly be truly offering it. ‘I am damaged goods. I am forever stained’ I argued. Sitting just behind me, with one hand still solidly on my shoulder you showed me the other one. 
Your wrist bore deep marks of having been bound, yourself. Your spirit whispered to mine,  “I have paid for it all. I paid for you. It’s done, dear one.” 
We must’ve sat there still for hours more, my inward self just couldn’t, wouldn’t believe, but eventually your love crept in. Eventually the dirt got cold and hard beneath me and the warmth of your hand and the love you held out to me warmer still.  
Slowly I got it. Slowly I saw it all- you behind the building, you taking every hit, every hate, every bit of my awful fate. You did it. You did do it. You really paid for me. 

Still dirty, not all of a sudden clean, yet more willing to believe you, my hand began to rise. It moved from my lap, across my body to settle on yours upon my shoulder; I gripped your fingers and a new tear fell- 

I didn’t have chains around my wrists and ankles anymore. I hadn’t noticed but the moment you breathed again they disintegrated. They disappeared and my own wounds began to heal. As I began to stand and turn into you my rags fell. The ground was littered with my past shames, dirtiness, ugliness, fears, doubts and ripped soul. Simultaneously, you robed me in the softest, purest, gentlest cloth ever made. This gauzy glowing dress was called righteousness. 

Finally standing, fully facing you, even my feet now glowed with cleanliness and purity. The dirt was far beneath them. My hands were now in yours, our arms bent and between us, our faces only inches apart and you smiled. Without speaking you said to me, “Come away with Me now, My beloved.” 

I am Redeemed.

   (works of art by Kelly O’Neill,