Rachel Hauck

Best-selling author and award winning author Rachel Hauck lives in central Florida with her husband and loving pets. She earned a B.A. degree in Journalism from Ohio State University and spent seventeen years in the corporate software world before leaving to write full time. Rachel loves to teach and mentor writers.

She is a Book Therapist at www.MyBookTherapy.com, a daily craft blog and community for writers. Rachel is the past president of American Christian Fiction Writers and now servers on the Advisor Board. Visit her blog and web site at www.rachelhauck.com.

Dodging Raindrops

The Passion of Mary

She barely recognized him. Bruised, bloody, beaten.

He stumbled under the weight of the thick splintered cross. Wind tunneled down the narrow street, billowing his blood-soaked robe. Flesh hung from his body, jagged, ripped skin exposing the flayed muscle. She could see through to his bones. Bile rose in her throat and tears streamed down her face.

What had they done to him? Why, oh why?

The man she loved, whose feet she’d washed with her tears. They tried him as a common criminal. Battered and humiliated him beyond recognition. For what? For loving them? For healing them?

The jeering and mocking of the crowd pounded in her head like the wild beating of drums and she wanted to scream. “Stop! Leave him alone!”

Isn’t that how he had defended her the night she’d washed his feet with her perfume? “Leave her alone,” he commanded Judas and the others. “She’s done this for my burial.”

She knew then of his complete acceptance, his unending love. His eyes never left her face. No man ever looked at her the way he did. Pure. Without demand. Without condition. Now, oh now, she dared to gaze upon him.

He’d fallen and his blood stained the cobblestones.

“Get up!” The soldier drove his foot into her Lord’s ribs.

Pain didn’t register on his battered face. He tried to rise, but the cross tipped off his shoulder and he stumbled again.

Help him, oh, please, someone, help him.

Then, there, his hand, reaching out to her. His eyes were swollen closed, but his hand, trembling, red, and dripping, reaching. To her? His friend. My friend.

“You! Carry the cross.” The soldier jerked a man from the crowd. He tripped and fell before Jesus, but rose up and with such care, took up his cross. Blood spread over the man’s clothes, stained his hands and feet.

Mary followed the procession to the hill, weeping, helpless to stop the driving, pounding nails. The ting of iron striking iron hanging in the cold air. They nailed his hands, then his feet to the splintered tree. He flinched with each blow, not once crying out.

Willing he went, she now knew. So innocent. So beautiful.

She stood at the foot of his cross, letting the blood fall on her skin. Jesus, gasping for each breath, gazed down at her. There were others, crowding around, but she felt as if he saw her alone.

He struggled to see through the blood seeping from the piercing thorns. She dared to reach up and touch his battered, pierced foot. He sighed when she touched him.

Any other time, any other man, she would not have recognized him. But there, in his eyes, she saw her true love. His lips parted. A smile. Did he smile? In the midst of such suffering, he smiled. At her?

Now she understood, with every part of her being, the purpose of this Man. More than the night she’d wiped his feet with her hair. More than when she’d looked at his face and he silenced her accusers.

Love. Complete and utter love, without condition. Nothing could separate them now. Not even death.


Love Starts With Elle