A Defiant Love – Part 1
A Narrative of the Holy Trinity’s Posture Toward Humanity
Jehovah stood on the Mount of Olives, gazing out over the city below, tears streaming down his face. He turned to Sophia as he heard her quiet footsteps on the path behind him and choked on a sob as he took in the sight of her: the exposed skin of her arms, chest, neck, and face swollen and bruised. “What have we done?” he breathed.
“We have to bring her back. It’s useless,” Sophia said. She was beyond tears, in shock from the violence she’d just witnessed in the city and exhausted by the beatings her own body felt vicariously through the physical violence done to Joanna.
Together, Sophia and Jehovah entered Jerusalem, stepping in and amongst the crowds in the streets, unseen and apparently unfelt by those around them. Jehovah whispered blessings under his breath as he passed, letting his fingers brush against the robes of those around him. Sophia felt her anger welling up anew at this undeserved act of grace and spun around to face him: “What are you doing?” she spat—literally. “They are killing us and you would bless them. Do you not hear Joanna’s screams? Do you not feel the rocks cracking her bones?” Now Sophia was screaming, her face red, eyes wet. “She is your child!”
Jehovah’s heart was broken and so was Sophia’s. They stood staring at each other, her bruises spreading and darkening before his eyes. Her gift was also her curse: she was not only spiritually connected to Joanna and himself as they were with each other, but also had a physical connection with the two of them. Their pleasure was her pleasure; their wounds were her wounds. As the wisdom arm of the Holy Trinity, Sophia spirited through the earth with a grace and agility he could only marvel at. But the past season had taken its toll on her. She was toughened and angry by the deep-seated grief she felt for their people.
Since even before they set about their work of creation, the Three had been head-over-heels in love with it. The dreaming and then speaking into existence of their most beloved earth and the culmination of their work in humanity was the labor of an intense love for which no word exists in all the universe. They were happy then. And even though their people had not remained faithful, the Three loved and cared for them, cried and cheered for them. They were proud of the freedom they’d bestowed in love and reveled in the full complexity of the human race and all its members.
It had been Joanna’s wish to join humankind in embodied form. They had known from before the beginning that some would choose to use their freedom for evil and ultimately Joanna understood it as her purpose to be with and among their people to bless and love them in their own particular, human way. “We’ve never been away from them and yet they’ve never known what it is to be truly with us,” she’d always said. She was—is—the very face of God. Up close. Intimately. And now it had cost her greatly.
“They are my children too,” Jehovah finally responded.
“They have gone too far this time,” Sophia seethed and, turning on her heel, she swept through the throng.
Reaching a broad opening in the crowd, Jehovah’s breath caught and he knew in his heart that there were not enough tears in creation or beyond to capture the depth of his sadness. The assailants had departed just ahead of their arrival, leaving a ring of on-lookers keeping their distance from his daughter, the savior of the world, lying crumpled on the ground. Mary, a young woman who had attached herself to Joanna early on, knelt with Joanna’s head in her lap, bent over her nearly lifeless body, sobbing.
Sophia flew to Joanna and held her as Jehovah knelt before Mary. Taking her face in his hands, he brushed her tears away. She gazed into his eyes and asked, “Why?”
Jehovah closed his eyes and exhaled. Why, indeed. Finally he answered, “Sin. Sin is real, and it is a powerful force.” He felt her dissatisfaction, as it was one with his own. “You have done well, my faithful servant. You are the first disciple of the Christ, and you will be rewarded in this life and the next.”
As if suddenly noticing their shameful voyeurism, the gawkers began to avert their gazes and slowly disperse, pretending they’d been on the way to some place all along, not watching the violent stoning of a young woman. Jehovah helped Mary to her feet and blessed her again and then one more time. Sophia stood and embraced Mary fiercely, saying, “Thank you. Thank you.”
“But I didn’t do anything,” Mary sobbed in protest. “I couldn’t save her. I couldn’t stop them. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”
Sophia looked deeply into Mary’s eyes and said, “You knew her. You recognized her when no one else would, and that is everything, Mary.”