Do you remember the fun activity of writing in the dirt or sand? You’d write with a stick or finger, maybe play tick tack toe perhaps another game of looking at footprints and trying to figure out who they belonged to. Any of these are fun but they always make me think of the story in the Bible where Jesus wrote in the sand when the women was caught in adultery.
The woman was brought to Jesus by the Pharisees, we might think of them as hypocrites or maybe the hall monitors of the time, they wanted to tattle on the sinful women testing Jesus, he knew this and rose above it by writing in the dirt and asking who is without sin to cast the first stone. He wrote twice in the dirt who knows what was written but when the Pharisees read it and then asked who is without sin to cast the first stone, they could do nothing but walk away leaving only the women on the ground and Jesus. (John 8:1-11)
I have for years read and loved this story, I feel the love and compassion coming alive from the pages but today something more came to me. I read and reread this because in the passages it says a few things I never got before.
First it says Jesus straightened up and asked the women where are you accusers? At first glance you are probably thinking no big deal but the fact that Jesus was mentioned as straightening up (or he stood up) means he was on the women’s level. Yes, he was at her level the son of God on the level of an adulterous women and then he stood up not a judgmental stance but to show this woman she too could stand tall.
Second, He asked her a question then waited for her answer. He gave her respect by asking then waiting for a reply. After showing her respect he wanted her to see for herself that those that brought her to him were gone and he did not condemn her so why stay on the ground but stand tall don’t do it again. Walk away holding her head high know she was loved and should live that way.
I thought how many times I forget to open my eyes; I stay on the ground beating myself up for the things I have done, I forget to stand up then walk away living loved. I forget I can live no longer condemned a life to its’s fullest loved and forgiven. Whether I live feeling condemned or turn into a Pharisee the hall monitors with the judgments for others neither on is the way God wants us to live.
Maybe a good thing to write down and remember daily is, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? She said no, sir and Jesus said neither do I condemn you.”