"When we willing sin against God, the transgression drives us from before his face, and we wander in awful solitudes like Cain did. But the banishment is too dreary to be borne. We are first stopped in our flight to sit down and think upon our shame; and then we are drawn to steal back, and seek, though doubtfully, our old neighborhood again; and its dear looks smite us to the heart, till we lift up our voice and weep aloud, saying 'If perchance the Lord would look upon our tears'; and at length we hint our prayer no more, but catch his very eye, and say 'Lord put me to grief, but don't cast me off: not from thine absence but from thy hand, let me receive thy chastisement: let me be stricken, but bear with me here: thy darkest frown is better to my soul than the dry light upon the wilderness of exile.' And with this self-surrender there comes an unexpected peace, so sad and solemn that surely it is the response of God; and must be accepted as a token that, truly, "The contrite heart he does not despise."
James Martineau, painting by George Frederick Watts, Eve repentant.