He was after her heart, and that was what hurt so bad.
There were many men who came before this man, Jesus. One said he loved her, but that was the one she knew wasn’t true. She saw something in the others — the ones who told half-truths, who stole from her. The ones who slept with other women and put her down. She trusted men without any reason to, and after so many mistakes began to believe she deserved the way they treated her.
So how was she supposed to believe this new man? The one who pursued her unlike all the rest. “He is loved by so many others,” she thought, “how does he have time for me? Some of these ‘Christians’ lead strange lives of prayer and devotion while they seem not to follow him at all.”
It was all so confusing. How was she supposed to trust this new man, who let her be angry — who let her shout at him — and still stood there, loving her through it all? How could that be real?
He always listened to her in a perfect way, unlike any man she’d met before. The promises he says he’ll keep? The real love he promises? Why believe this man whispering to her after what all the other men did? The men who came before have spoiled her, she thought. “I won’t believe what I hear him say.”
The men who came before him — they are on to the next woman, but she lets herself be conquered by the memories. Standing there before her, unrecognized, is love and light itself.