Sunday, May 19, 2013

On the Auction Block

I was once on the auction block.
 A slave.
 Weighted down.
 Full of Shame.

 My master, who had once lured me into His trap, had promised me freedom, peace, and a joyful life. He gave me instead a life full of pain, shame and oppression. I was trapped in his grip and unable to escape from his wicked clutches. Though he promised to care for me, all he did was take from me. He took and took and took and took, until I had nothing left to give. I was used up. And now that he had no use for me, he placed me on the auction block, hoping to squeeze one last bit of profit from my existence. As I stood on that block, I heard the words of my Master. “For Sale, one slave woman. Useless and of no account. Sold to the highest bidder.” He grinned a merciless, sly grin as he said these words. It was then that I realized that he had no intention of letting me go. He seemed to find great pleasure in giving me the hope of freedom, and completing dashing away all possibilities of escaping his evil clutches. I sighed a deep, painful sigh. It was a sigh that came from the very pit of my stomach. There was no hope for me. None at all, for of course, no one would purchase me. Why would they?

But a man appeared and said, “I'll buy her.” I saw my Master's look of utter shock and annoyance at the man's proposal. As for me, I was too afraid to hope again. I knew my wicked master would find a way to destroy my hope again. But I did appreciate this valiant man's attempt. For a moment, I felt human again. I felt worthy of love—for just a moment. I tried to hold on to this moment for as long as I could, for it was the only joy I had felt in such a long time. This man wore a Royal Robe, and was obviously of great wealth. Yet, he put on no airs. There was a tenderness about him, a gracefulness in the way he moved and a searching quality in the way he probed the scene. This was no ordinary man. There was something about this man that gave me hope, though I was certain there was no hope. This man intrigued me.

My master responded to this man's offer to buy me, by setting my price at a price no reasonable person would accept. I wasn't surprised. As I said before, he had no intention of letting me go. And yet, this mysterious man responded again, “I'll buy her.” My master decided he would play a game with this noble man. I knew my master well. He was a shrewd businessman and he would not miss the opportunity to profit from this man of great wealth. So he increased the price again, and again the man replied with, “I'll buy her.” Well, obviously even these absurd amounts were nothing compared to this man's great worth. My master greedily continued increasing my selling price, with the full intent of keeping me and swindling this man out of absurd amounts of his fortune.

Finally, my master informed the regal stranger that he would only let me go if someone volunteered to take my place. That was the only payment he would take. Well, that would do it. At this point I knew my master had accomplished his wicked scheme. Who would dare to take my place? My state of affairs was a most pitiful existence. No one would choose my fate for their worse enemy, and because I sensed that this man was of high and noble character, he would not place my fate on any other. But something unexpected happened. It was a strange twist of my fate, and it rocked my world to its very core. The man persisted in pursuing me. He offered His life in exchange for mine. I didn't understand how this royal man could pay such a high price for me. He was of great importance in the world. I was useless, helpless and of no value. The world needed someone like him. I had nothing to offer anyone anymore. The man's offer was ludicrous and I honestly could not allow him to pay such a price for me. Though my life meant nothing, I knew this man didn't deserve my fate. I would accept my fate with the knowledge that there was some good in the world.

As I was pondering these strange and peculiar circumstances, this royal man stood before me. He uttered no words. He only smiled lovingly at me. Tenderly, he embraced me. I distinctly remember feeling such a sensation of joy and peace as I'd never known before. This was love. I wanted to say something to this man, but I could not utter a word. Not even a syllable. I wanted to say thank you. I wanted to say, “Don't do this.” Instead, I sobbed in His arms, and somehow I sensed that he knew. He knew all that I wanted to say. He removed His royal robe and placed it around me. He took the rings from his fingers and placed them on mine. He told me that everything he owned, was now mine. Honestly, I had no idea what this meant. I never owned anything. I had only been “owned”. He told me his servants would take care of me. My mine was in a daze. I was dumbfounded. And just as I had gathered my wits enough to speak, my master's servants snatched this man away from me. They released me from my chains and placed them on this man. This man wore MY CHAINS. This was wrong!!!! No! No! No! No! My mind began to race. My heart felt like it would escape my chest. How could they take this man?

I somehow managed to scream, “Why?!”

He replied, “Because I love you.”

And then they took him away.

So there I was left standing on the auction block, dressed in a royal robe, with rings on my fingers, and servants waiting to respond to my every command. And this royal man was taken to the place of my torment. The place of my shame. I could not understand it all.

 Suddenly the reality of it all began to take shape in my mind.

I was free.

Paid for by the precious life of this Royal and noble man. My life is not my own, I have been purchased at a great price. So I live to honor the One who paid such a high price for me.

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