If she presses through that door, she might as well be crucified.

They will stare. Gloat. Mock. Maybe even spit. They will throw her out, curse her existence, humiliate her soul again. She clasps the precious vial, the only thing about her that still shines. The crystal catches the sunlight, blinding her momentarily with a flare of glory. A reminder of the holiness of God. Of the ugliness in her own heart.

But no. HE will also be in there. The One who looks at HER, her heart and not her body. The One with kindness in his eyes so strong that it has coaxed her to her hope again. He would be in there, sitting among the snakes. She holds up the vial again, watches it catch the sun and make little rainbows along her arm. Rainbows are a symbol of God’s promise, his mercy.

But she’s worthless. He will judge her too, condemn her like all the rest.

No, he won’t. She’s seen his eyes. Looked into them, and through them, into his soul. He loves her like a daughter.

The others will humiliate her. Laugh at her.

Probably. But He is worth it. Worth the staring, every fleck of spittle on her cheek, every ounce of contempt she will have to carry, every drop of perfume in the vial. If she never does anything right ever again, she has to do this one thing.

Taking a deep breath, she pushes open the door, and the sounds of the party rush out to greet her.