Read an Excerpt
Wings of Madness
Today I felt pass over me
A breath of wind from the wings of madness.
Jake didn’t see her until it was too late.
A woman disguised as a bundle of rags bolted out of the Park View Pet Shop and directly into his path, nearly knocking him to the icy sidewalk. Instead, she was the one who landed there in an awkward heap, her face crimson, her eyes averted.
He bent toward her, shielding her from the bitter January wind. “Ma’am, are you okay? I’m sorry I—”
She looked up at him, and the words froze on his lips.
Lord, help me. He was face to face with a madwoman.
Wide, unfocused eyes lit by an unseen fire stared blankly back at him. Dark smudges down her cheeks—dirt? makeup? dried blood?—seemed days in the making. Her black hair was matted against her head, and her prominent nose ran unchecked.
Jake yanked out a clean handkerchief and knelt by her side, lowering his voice as though speaking to a child. “Let me help you get up.”
She shrank back from him, a bony hand tightening around a threadbare striped scarf. The woman might have been his mother’s age, in her midforties. He studied the lines around her mouth. No, older. The sad wildness in her eyes hinted at decades of pain.
When she dropped her chin and mumbled an incoherent word or two, he leaned closer. Maybe she would mention her name, where she lived, something.
Except what she said made no sense at all…
Maybe you’re thinking the same thing: This makes no sense at all! I thought this was a book about Mary Magdalene, one of the Bad Girls of the Bible.
Oh, it is, dearie. You’ve come to the right place. No bait-and-switch here.
I simply asked myself the question, “What if Mary Magdalene walked among us today?” That’s the Story part. Before doing that, I immersed myself in the biblical accounts of her life. That’s the Study part. In the process, I discovered a very different woman than I’d expected. Although “her name has come to us laden with infamy,” most of us don’t know what she’s famous— or infamous—for doing.
Clearly she must have done something. Of the seven Marys in the Bible, Mary of Magdala is mentioned fourteen times, more than any other woman in the Gospels except Mary, the mother of Jesus.
When I asked my Christian writing sisters what they remembered about Mary, most of ’em were convinced Mary Magdalene was a bona fide Bad Girl.
“Wasn’t she a prostitute? Worse than other sinners?” Sue
“A good heart for Christ but a bad reputation.” Jan
“She had a lot of hard knocks and made some bad choices.” Janet
“She was definitely a bad girl…the proverbial ‘tender-hearted whore.’” Karen
“I’m confused. Was she the woman who washed Christ’s feet? An adulteress? A murderer?” Debbie
Yes, there’s something about Mary. We just can’t figure out what it is.
“I don’t know if she would be classified as ‘bad’ per se, or simply afflicted with a terrible case of PMS.” Carolyn
Hey, that’s it! Blame the hormones. Works for me, babe.
Speaking of hormones, if you’ve heard the rumors about Mary Magdalene and Jesus being lovers, being married, being parents—don’t get your toga in a knot. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, who provided first-century, eyewitness accounts and knew Jesus and Mary Magdalene as well as anyone, never speak of them as a couple, let alone as husband and wife. More on that subject in chapter 11, but I want to put your mind at ease: It’s the Mary Magdalene of the Bible we’re unveiling here, not the mythical version.
So then. Was the real Mary M. good…or bad?
“Not necessarily bad, but she must have opened the door to those demons…” Angela
Uh…demons? Nobody ever talks about that part of her life. Except the apostles.
When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. Mark 16:9
Wait a minute. The woman was a demoniac? Of all the people he might have appeared to first, Jesus chose a former…well, a madwoman? Sorta like that person who came tearing out of the pet shop a few minutes ago? Whoa.
Now you can see why this book was first published with the title Mad Mary. The bad news is, most folks browsing through a bookstore missed the Mary Magdalene connection altogether. Many apologies. The good news is, we’ve unveiled Mary’s story with a new title and a new cover, yet with the same eye-opening truth inside.
Mary Magdalene was indeed a demoniac—one of the Mad Girls of the Bible—until Jesus appeared and changed her forever. Girlfriend, we gotta find out how she got rid of the demons in her life. And why Jesus trusted a woman with a devilish past to reveal his heavenly future. Contemporary story first, biblical study second, let’s explore what it means to be utterly, completely, amazingly transformed.
Darkness to light, death to life.