The woman who was caught

Based on John 8 v.2-11

So there I was, standing in the middle of all those Men. None of them wanted to touch me, I was “unclean” to them. Of course I had heard of Jesus. Everyone had. But I had never seen him. And there he was, his back towards us, just writing in the ground. He seemed so …un-fussed by all these Important Men. He didn’t even look up. The Important Men were all shouting at him.

“The Laws of Moses say we can stone her.”

“She was caught…” “in the very act….” “Of adultery!”

“What have YOU got to say?”

I just stood with my head held high. Jesus would know why I had done it. He might even defend me. I did it out of love… Jesus always defended that. There was a very long pause. The Men were getting impatient with Jesus. The air was full of their seething. I could feel it buzzing all around me.

Jesus stood up slowly. Brushing the dust off from the temple floor. Lovingly returning it to where it belonged. Then he looked at me. In that one look all the reasons I had fled from me, all the excuses fell away. I was left naked and alone. I was standing in the dark. The Men were right. I was evil. I had done evil. I deserved to be dead. I held a hand up to my uncovered head, while the other tried to cover my body, clearly visible through my thin shift.

He wasn’t looking at me now. He looked at the Men, anger and contempt flashed in his eyes. He said flatly: “Let the one among you who is guiltless be the first to throw a stone at her.” With one swift move he was writing on the ground again. As if we had never been there. The encounter had never happened. I kept my eyes lowered but fixed on his back. I don’t think you could have prised my gaze away from this man. I thought he would know how I could have ended up here and understand. But he knew more. He went deeper and deeper until I was totally exposed; my excuses and lies laid bare for him to see and I couldn’t leave until I knew that it would be alright, until I knew that he didn’t feel like the Men did, that there was hope for me still.

I felt a movement by my shoulder. The Men were moving away. The oldest first. His mind roaming through years of wrong doing. One by one. Not looking at each other so they wouldn’t reveal their hidden guilt.

We were left alone.

Jesus and Me.

Me and Jesus.

His head turned back to look up at me.

He stood and turned fully round. His beauty facing my shame.

“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” He had a smile in his eyes. It was like he had got rid of the men on purpose, because he wanted to see me, not them. Talk to me, not them. To him, I was the important one not the Important Men. He knew the answer before I could reply. “No one, Sir.” Jesus stepped towards me, took my hands and looked straight into my soul. I could feel the blackness of my wrong being forced out with the light in his eyes. “Neither do I condemn you.” His lips were smiling too now “Go away. And from this moment sin no more.” There was such love in his voice. I was smiling too now. With the briefest of touch on my head he turned and walked away. Jesus had gone but I was left. I wasn’t alone though. I was full of light. Full of determination. Full of love. Full of hope.

I did “go away”. And I did “sin no more”.

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