We all know the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery found in John 8.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,”she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
We’ve all read this and more than likely relate to the woman accused. Haven’t we been in her shoes? Facing or accusers, waiting for the stones to be thrown. Standing in the grace of the One who is Grace as He tells us to go and sin no more…
How many of us though are the ones with the stones in hand? Left standing all alone because we can’t bring ourselves to let go.
That’s where I find myself these days.
Every wound, real or imagined, is represented by each of the stones I carry. I have pockets full of stones. And I know how to use them. I’ve become an expert at throwing them. Picking out just the right size at just the right time. Knowing exactly where to aim. Striking first before I am wounded further. Shamefully savoring the moment I hit my target. Shamefully, yes, because I know I should drop them.
Standing there with the stones in my hand I hear the words of Jesus…
” Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone…”
And I find myself angry. Angry because He has continued to allow me to be wounded. Angry because the very thing that was supposed to be from Him has continued to drive wedges and cause discord. Confused because I can’t figure out what I am supposed to be learning in all of this. At times thinking I can reach the oasis only to find it’s been a mirage. Wondering just how much longer I can survive in this desert. Angry because the more I try to trust Him the more difficult this becomes.
And I hear the words again…
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone…”
But there is no condemnation in His words. I find myself standing in the grace of the One who is Grace as He tells me it’s okay. I understand. I love you.
As He sings love songs over me, the tears begin to fall. Along with the stones in my hands.