11.03.2009

The Thud of Grace

I read this here.
You have to read it. I cried. It was exactly what I needed today.

I often wonder how she felt.
Standing there, caught in her shame, there was no way to hide.
No chance of passing the blame – she was caught in the act.
No chance of getting out of punishment – these guys meant business.

But, so did He.

He already knew her. He knew her habits, her vices. He also knew her dreams. Her secret longings. Her desire to be beautiful and to feel beautiful. Yeah, he knew all about her. And he still loved her.

I often wonder how she felt; humiliated and scared out of her mind. Her eyes darting towards the jagged stones held by the hands of men – many of whom she had already met before. Many of whom she had already…known before. The cat calls and hissing of men and women in the crowd, the plea for justice in the form of stone against flesh, none of these could distract her attention though of this man standing next to her.

Majestic yet simple.
Fierce yet serene.
Jealous. Oh my, he was jealous.

A voice cried out, “Abba! We caught this woman having sex. Adultery! Fornication! It wasn’t even her husband! According to Moses, we should stone her.” The man, silently remembering his own indiscretions with the targeted woman, threw a furtive smile towards his friends. “What say you, LORD?”

Silence.

A few chuckled. She groaned inwardly. They had him now. All he had to do was mention this thing of…grace and they would have him trapped. She was a slut. A whore. A good-for-nothing piece of trash who gave away her body for a few scraps of bread and measly change.

Every one waited.

Quietly, he stooped down and wrote in the sand.

She braced herself for the first stone’s impact.

His voice shattered the silence, “Okay. True. She has sinned. But. Let the one with no sin throw the first stone.”

She closed her eyes, tears making rivers down her cheeks.

Thump.

One stone hits the ground with stunning finality. The man who dropped the stone, shoulders slumped, turns around and walks away.

Thump.

Another stone fallen; another man turns to leave.

One by one, the stones hit the dirt. The woman – was she amazed? Did she have the strength to stand under the weight of a sin forgiven?

Quietly, without much ado, the men left . Only One was remained.

“Where are your accusers? Did no one throw a stone?”

She managed a whisper, “No, LORD.”

He smiled. “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

I often wonder how she felt.

With the thud of grace ringing in her ears, did she dance? Did she sing?

Or did she cling to His hand? In desperation for love and acceptance, did she for the first time feel beautiful? Did she see her worthiness as far more than pearls as He gingerly wiped tears from her cheek?

I’d like to think she did a little of all of these. I’d like to think that humbled, she fell at His feet and wept the bittersweet tears of redemption. I’d like to think that when she was done, she finally felt what it was like to be forgiven.

To be free.

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