Tuesday, March 11

He has removed the Scarlett Letter and I am HIS

Today I was sitting in front of the fireplace once again, having my QT with the Lord.  I was reading and meditating on the following Scripture.

This Scripture has always intrigued me.

John 8:1-11

New International Version (NIV)
1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 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. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

I have always wondered what exactly it was Jesus was writing in the dirt.  It doesn't say that anywhere.  But when He was being pushed to prove something, the Leaders of the day were really trying to trick him it says.  They come with a woman.  And they challenge Him to say what should be done with her.  Seriously - what were they thinking?
And Jesus bends down and writes something in the earth.  They were obviously not prepared for what He was going to say.  But they push him on it.  I can just picture it.  For some reason, I knew as I was thinking about this story recorded in Scripture - that I needed to write my thoughts from "her" perspective.  I have never been an adulterous woman - at least not in this way - not in the adulterous way with men.  I thank God for my husband.  However have I been untrue to my Lord and Saviour at times when I have allowed other things to push him out of the number One place in my life?  Have I allowed other things (hmmm… perhaps my struggle with food?) become another "lover" in my life?
All of a sudden I am wondering how often I have been untrue to Jesus - the true lover of my soul?
Maybe that is why I felt like I needed to write from her perspective?  I think God is bringing something to the surface in my soul, and I am thankful.  Here are my thoughts.

He Removed the Scarlett Letter and I am HIS

I stood there, after being pushed roughly before this man
The one that is called Jesus
Just another man?
But NO
He teaches and his words cause fear and anger in these men
These "leaders" so to speak
They ones who are so "holy"
so justified in their condemning actions
Their hands gripped so tightly around my arm
leaving fingerprint marks when they let me go.
Bruises were already showing on my arms, and no doubt my face

dirty  - both outside and inside
coming to a halt at the feet of this man Jesus
was a relief.

I heard their words of condemnation
"Jesus - she is an adulterous woman
What do you say should happen with her?"
I did not have a visible scarlett A on my chest -
And yet the invisible scarlett letter burned a brand deep into my being.
Perhaps being stoned to death
the jeers and sneers
and obscene comments.
Bring on the stones!
May it be a swift end.

But Jesus ~
he didn't speak.
Instead he bent over
and wrote in the dirt.
What IS he doing?
Just get it over with Jesus
please ...
announce my sentence!

The men gripped the stones so tightly
their knuckles were white.
Women stared me down
making me feel dirtier
and lower than the mud itself
that Jesus continued to write in.

"Jesus, what do you say?"
Their question lingered ~
there was a sense of something happening in the unseen world.
I held my breath
not wanting to miss the words from the Teacher.
And then he stood up and turned to them
And with a strong voice he told them ~
Encouraged them actually
"If you are without sin, then throw the first stone"
These were not the words I expected to hear.
But the reaction to them literally took my breath away.

All around me
THICK SILENCE that fell.
And then, one at a time
I heard the stones falling,
but they weren't being thrown at me.
They were dropping to the ground from palms that were opened.

I looked at Jesus
He was stooped down
His index finger writing in the mud again
I don't know what he was writing
But he gave it his whole attention
as if oblivious to the crowd around him

I watched
The old men left first
out of sight.
And then the young men followed suit.
Women stood and watched their leaders backing down
Normally outspoken, the women now said nothing
but walked away with bowed heads.
I couldn't believe it
I had a feeling of unbelief wash over my body
tattered and torn…
and yet something inside me felt alive
more alive than I have ever felt before.

All of a sudden - it was just me.
Me and the Man who saved my life
and Jesus.
He straightened up and looked at me.
Not like men normally looked at me.
No - Jesus looked at me with the most gentle gaze I have ever experienced.
His eyes looked right into my soul
and instead of feeling dirty ~
I felt freedom.
explain it.

He spoke to me with such love
and asked me "where are your accusers?"
I could barely get it out
but with all a voice that was quivering, I spoke up
looking him in his eyes
I told him they were all gone.
Noone condemned me.

And then I heard the words that brought healing to my being - complete healing
He ~ my LORD, said "Neither do I condemn  you."
Jesus did I hear correctly?
You don't condemn me?
O but LORD, you should!
I should have the scarlett letter.
I should be stoned.
I am guilty of being unfaithful
of being untrue
I wish it was not true

"Neither do I condemn you.
Go now and leave your life of sin!"

He has given me life.
My Jesus ~ my LORD.
exposed but forgiven
a clean slate

Forgive me
help me to walk
Washed Clean

And in the eyes of the ONLY ONE that counts in my life


He has removed the scarlett letter and ...


Kathy said...

Joy.....thank you for stirring my heart this morning. We have such a loving Heavenly Father....I feel humbled in this moment as I reflect on my own ways and how our Lord embraces us, cleanses and redeems us, blesses us in our walk with Him. I am His....praise Him!

Elizabeth said...

We just saw the movie, Son of God, and that scene about the adulterous woman was really powerful. Thank you for identifying yourself with her and therefore, helping all of us identify with her, no matter what our struggle, and therefore receive the mercy and grace of Jesus in new and profound ways.