Saturday, May 22, 2010

writing in the sand

On a morning long ago there was one, one who stood among men before her about to be stoned. She was caught in adultery. Before her stood many men, I wonder if one of them was the man she was with. I wonder just where he was on this day as stood alone, scared, and shamed.
What she had done was wrong, but how many times have we too been there before others, ashamed, alone and scared, waiting for the judgement of others who have seen our falter, our slip in our walk? I can only wonder what she was thinking on this day. Was she regretting laying with this man? Was she wishing she could change her past? Maybe she was just wishing it was all over with. I don't think there is one of us that has not felt the heat of others breathing upon us, standing over us, ready with aim to throw their stone.

The scribes and Pharisees brought this woman before Jesus. I can see them throwing her at His feet, as she lay before Him, wondering, "What next"? These two groups were testing Jesus to see what He would say. Maybe this woman was just being used by all of them before her. But Jesus is not fearful of their testing. He stands and says, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." John 8:7b Now, the table is turned to them before her. What will they do now as they are carrying stones to take care of this woman, this woman who has sinned? As Jesus sees them before her He writes in the sand. As they are all looking, they do not throw their stones, but they very well drop them where they are. No one knows what Jesus wrote in the sand. Some think maybe He wrote the ten commandments. Maybe He wrote the man's name down. Maybe He wrote their sins before them for all to see. Whatever He wrote made them all turn, leaving this woman before Jesus. In verse 10-12 it says; "When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you? She said, No one Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more. Then Jesus spoke to them again saying, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

You can read this story in John 8:1-12. This woman was forgiven of her sins by Jesus. Can you see her face as she is walking away? For me, I can see tears of joy and deliverance. I can see a woman walking away with a new life, a new beginning before her. We can be so quick to judge another for their sins, but stand with our heads held high thinking, "I would never do that." As I have taught my children, "Never say never." We are all sinners in need of a Savior. When we stand before Him on judgement day, there will not be any others around us to condemn us as we have today. Jesus will stand before us and it is He and only He that we will face for our lives. We can find forgiveness in Jesus.

Before other men Jesus is writing in the sand for you. He is standing in the gap for you and I. He knows our past, present and future. We can find hope in Him. We can seek forgiveness in Him. And in Him is where we find redemption and a new beginning. As this woman walked away from her past and her sin, we too can walk away with a new pledge before us to honor God with all we are.

Whatever sin we are struggling with, Jesus can give us the strength to overcome. We all struggle one time or another. As we need lifted up in our time of struggle, so do those around us. Instead of pointing a figure at one, may be lift our hands in prayer for them, wrapping loving kindness around them, leaving hope in their hearts as Jesus used His finger to write hope in the sand for one so long ago.
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