Posts Tagged ‘life forgiveness Jesus adultery guilt’

stones 2

Her cry was haunting. The type of cry that comes from deep wounds, abuse and years of unfulfilled longing. She wore her shame like a discarded garment never intended to display a sense of style. No, this was a garment used to cover up her nakedness, and the pain of accusation currently being hurled at her soul.

I watched as an observer, but my inaction made me part of the accusing crowd. It was a crowd I knew. It was my crowd. And suddenly, that began to bother me. I knew it shouldn’t. I mean, my crowd was right.

We were doing the right thing. We were the crowd who knew right and wrong. Our accusations were not born out of opinion. No, our accusations were based on the law that I had spent my entire life learning, memorizing, living and enforcing. And there was no question this woman here before me was guilty. She was caught in the act. And we had to do the right thing. We had to defend right and wrong. This woman had to die.

I held the stone in my hand tight enough to cause the jagged edges to cut into my fingers. Blood dripped down almost unnoticed, as I intently looked into the eyes of this woman I was accusing. Her cries continued. Loud and painful, but I heard nothing. All sound stopped. For a moment I forgot anyone else was around. It seemed this woman was only looking at me and her gaze pierced my heart.

A few seconds passed. Then a minute. Maybe two. I am not sure how long I stared into those eyes. But in that moment, her eyes spoke without speaking. Years of neglect, hurt and pain flooded out of her soul and into mine. I wrestled with the conflict of the moment.

Then…

He appeared.

This man, Jesus. We all knew him, or at least we knew of Him. And of course, we hated him. He did not respect us. He did not care about doing what was right. And now, we were going to expose him.

Here it goes. My crowd is addressing him. They let him know that the woman was caught in the act of adultery. And now comes the moment of truth.

They are reminding him that the law says this woman should be put to death.
They asked him what he thinks. Let’s see what he says.

What?

What is this?

What is he doing?

Why isn’t he answering us?

He is just writing in the dirt.

Now people are walking away. Why is my crowd leaving?

Wait. Now he’s writing in front of me.

What? How did he know that?

Now I am walking away.

But, I did not walk far. I stayed close and watched.

That Jesus knelt down in front of the woman we were going to kill. He looked her in the eye and he told her that no one was left to throw stones at her. She was going to live. He saved her. He would not condemn her and he told her she should go and live life, and leave her sin behind.

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It’s been awhile since that day took place, but I have not been able to stop thinking about that moment. I’ve thought a lot about the crowd. My crowd. I’ve thought a lot about why I was so willing to pick up a stone and throw it. I’ve thought a lot about what he wrote in the dirt. And, I’ve thought a lot about that woman and the pain I saw in her eyes when I looked at her.

But what I have really thought about is the peace and joy I saw in her eyes when he spoke to her. The change in her countenance was like nothing I had ever seen. I have spent my life doing what was right and letting people know what they were doing wrong. It was a painful moment when I realized that if he was providing life, then I was providing death.

It was even more painful when I realized that my pursuit to defend right and wrong was not as important or noble as his pursuit to bring life in the midst of death.

I do not know how to change without leaving my crowd. I don’t even know how to talk to my crowd about the thoughts I have.

But what I do know is this, right or wrong, I can never pick up another stone.

Possible Musings of A Conflicted Pharisee
Based on John 8:1-11

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