John Kempe: Meditations with Mother Jesus

I have been thinking a lot lately. As I usually do, I have been communicating with mother Jesus. I do this for a variety of reasons. First, I do this to be reassured of my greatness as a follower to mother Jesus. If it wasn’t already obvious, I have devoted my life to the word put forth in His word. Therefore, speaking to mother Jesus in my spare time is always a comfort because mother Jesus always commends me for my service. Another reason I do this is to relieve the stress of being married to the creature I am married to. You all may know her as Margery Kempe, disciple of Julian of Norwich, daughter of the former mayor of our town. I know her to be a sinner. I still am trying to figure out what her first sin was that she will not tell anyone. Not me. Not the Priest. Only Mother Jesus knows. I know her to have publicly embarrassed me and emasculated me by criticizing my less noble heritage. No, I am not of noble birth. No, my father was not a mayor. And yet, through the grace of our mother Jesus and the Father, I was able to move beyond the station assigned me at birth. Yet my wife does not appreciate the work I put in to attract her. To Her I am lesser than.  I know her as the woman who was well aware of her earthly material and wanted to make sure our neighbors were well aware of them as well. Spending our money foolishly on things like jewelry and other goods with which to show off our monetary success, she proceeded to go against the word of mother Jesus. One could understand after all of the sins why I wasn’t ready to let her have her way so easily. When she asked me to relieve her of her wifely responsibilities, of course I said no at first. She needed to be punished for these transgressions so I continued sleeping with her even though she didn’t want me to. I was angry. Yet, in my most recent conversation with the holy son, I have been inspired by mother Jesus. Mother Jesus instructed all to forgive. While I felt I couldn’t do this at first, and let that be known in response, I’ve decided to continue following the word of Mother Jesus even though it doesn’t sit well with me. So, I forgive my wife.

John Kempe to My Wife Margery Kempe

When I first noticed your sickness, I was scared. I was not scared for myself as I had no reason to be. I loved the Lord and my land. I did well by marrying the daughter of man that once held position of mayor. I followed the commandments set forth by the Bible, for the most part. You on the other hand, you creature that I call wife, Margery Kempe, were blasphemous and recalcitrant in all ways that a woman could be. I stood aside and watched as you destroyed your holy self and betrayed the commandments of Jesus Christ the son. Alas, there were so many sins for which Jesus the son may have found fit to punish you for.

Perhaps it was your first and greatest sin you write about and yet tell very little of. While I am your husband and a faithful servant of God, I don’t not expect you to reveal such trifles to me for that is not my place to hear sin and absolve. Nay, that is a job of a Priest. I read you invited one only to remain silent about this mysterious sin of yours. Perhaps that could’ve upset our Lord Jesus the son. That you would so desecrate a servant of the Lord by inviting him to hear your sins only to make waist of his time and keep your transgressions to yourself.  Unfortunately, your sins did not stop there. I recall your time of slander. When you began slandering me, your very husband, with accusations mendacious in nature.  Or when you had been once forgiven by the Lord and continued to live a life of pomp and circumstance, presenting your earthly riches for all the world to know and to inspire jealousy of our neighbors and family and friends. Perhaps it was the way you addressed me, your earthly lord and husband, when I merely suggested that you release yourself from all earthly desires and restrain your sinful urges to display your wealth. In defiance and with much haughtiness, you chided me, saying I could’ve never hoped to marry such a woman of your station.  Perhaps it was your failed attempts at opening businesses, work not made for women of course, in order to support your lavish and excessive desires.

Aye, your list of betrayals to Jesus Christ the son are endless. It is true that I made feast out of your body though you asked me not to. Yet, that I believe is my only sin. Besides that, I have been a model of a Christian man. This is why I believe the Lord gave me the power to decide whether or not you would be chaste when you went to him. Because I was such a loyal follower, I was given agency to determine whether or not you would ever know another man carnally. Though you’ve been less than a perfect wife and an astonishingly displeasing Christian, I decided to give you mercy as our savior Jesus the son has given us so many times throughout our lives. I let you devote your body to God as you once devoted it to me and allowed you to head to Jerusalem. For that, I’m sure you are grateful.

John Kempe to Julian of Norwich

I admire this creature that is willing to devote its life to God. It is clear that since our father has sent you a vision of the passion that you are indeed special. Unfortunately, I have never been granted the privilege to witness such a sight, though I have married one who claims to have seen such a beautiful sight. I love the Lord, as we have been so instructed to do, and as is expected from a man of my station whose wife’s Earthly father held position of mayor. Yet I have found it particularly challenging to devote my life to many of the teachings of our heavenly father. I fear I shall never be welcomed to witness the passion of our father through my mind’s eye for my transgressions against him have been plentiful.

When my wife sought to die, that is to be rid of all Earthly possessions and caring’s and yearnings, I admit I could not hold myself to such heavenly expectations. I forced my wife to maintain carnal knowledge of her Earthly lord and husband. Me thought this too was an expectation of our heavenly father. Alas, is this woman called Margery Kempe not my wife? Is it not her duty to lie with me as wives and husbands do?

I proceeded to take her, her tears failing to bring about any remorse in my spirit. Nay, it wasn’t until I read of the miracle worked upon you by our heavenly father. For your suffering, you were granted your sight from the blood of Jesus Christ himself and found yourself living the rest of your life as an anchoress tending the sins of many, including my wife Margery Kempe. It is this courage and devotion that led me to understand the plight of the faithful.

It is no pleasure to the Lord to have us enjoy each other’s flesh. Though your experience brought you to a different conclusion in which you preach of the love of God being not a painful one, I found that in fact it is our duty to abstain from Earthly pleasures and thus, after three consecutive years of succumbing to the will of the devil within mine body, I saw the truth in the way of my wife’s yearnings and capitulated and thus we have been chaste as recorded in my living will to please our savior Jesus Christ.