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I Should Have Been Stoned
- September 15, 2016
- Lori Travers
We’ve come a long way, baby, haven’t we?
I shudder to think what it was like to be a woman of ill repute in Jesus’ time…or any woman, for that matter. Women were considered property. A Jewish man’s prayer might be equal to these three pointed benedictions: “Blessed be He who did not make me a Gentile”; “Blessed be He who did not make me a woman”; “Blessed be He who did not make me an uneducated man.” I thought God made them “male and female…in His image! *sigh*
Fast forward to the 1970’s. Dress codes changed (girls could chuck the skirts and wear pants to school!), ERA drew support, Ms. Magazine was launched, Roe v. Wade was upheld, we got our own cigarettes, and birth control became easily accessible. The sexual revolution had begun.
And my teenage years were smack dab in the middle of it all.
I wasn’t clearly “taught” these historical happenings. It was more inhaled as the air of change surrounded me. Adding to the confusion, my detached daddy did very little to boost my self worth, so I rode with the tide of the times and got sucked into the undercurrent of reckless behavior. No one warned me. No one shamed me. No one stoned me.
I have often wondered what the last few minutes of life before being annihilated by rocks felt like. Morbid thought, huh? A woman who was “caught in the very act” would clearly be a candidate for such a scene. A woman who was a pawn in the hands of religious men. A woman who was quite likely searching for honest love. She needed a hero, and He showed up just in time.
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. 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 still 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.” (John 8:3-11)
If I had lived back then, the evidence would have led to a horrendous stoning conviction. What I had done with my life was clearly sinful, as was this wanton woman. But what the religious leaders of the day refused to see in themselves was equally perverse. Jesus called them out on it, and this frightened woman was set free. And for the mess I got myself into, I should have been stoned. But instead I fell upon the Rock. His mercy “caught me in the very act” and He loved me into an exceedingly more desirable life of self worth.
So now, instead of being buried under a pile of stones, I stand upon the Rock, sure footed and completely forgiven. The condemning stone-throwers have fled as I am caught up in the affectionate grasp of the Lover of my soul. I am now free to sin no more.