“Woman where are those thine accusers?” – John 8:10b
Last night I was the woman standing in the midst… of five little girls. I say little, and yet not so little, they were young teens. Actually I was sitting, playing and teaching guitar. One of the girls had recently attended a revival where I had sung a song I had written called “When Misery Met Mercy,” and she asked me if I’d sing it for them. What an honor! And an opportunity. I began to tell them the story of the woman caught in adultery and they were amazed. They’d not heard that story, nor had they heard that adultery was wrong. I’m shocked at my own naivety sometimes. I grew up with the teaching of bible morals and I just assume that the rest of the world at least knows, even if they choose to ignore it. But the shock in the young girl’s voice was evidence clear in my mind that she really had no idea that adultery was a sin… and for a second I judged…
Not her but the world around her. And then this morning I ponder this thought, and I am convicted of my own rock throwing. It’s so easy to become that religious crowd. An honest to goodness rock throwing Pharisee is what I felt like.
In irony, the night I sang that song at the revival a man preached who was fighting his way back from addiction, which was almost as hard as fighting his way back from the judgement of rock throwing Pharisees. And that night I was angry at the church people who had thought they had the right to sit in the seat of God and tell a man who has fallen, but gotten up, that he has no right to stand for Jesus. Who were they to condemn a man Who God had said “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” John 8:11b
Who am I?
Jesus said to the crowd that lingered behind, the ones who hadn’t picked up the stones, they were only spectators, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” And there I was a child of the living God, privileged to walk in the light of life and yet blinded to the world around me. I was a spectator. I didn’t throw the rock, but I sure didn’t feel as if I’d been defending that little girl either. I did not know her world, and yet every day I live in it.
I have no right to judge her world, especially if I’m not willing to go out into it. The religious crowd goes out into the world and drags the sins of the world before the church and says “We are better!” A child of God goes out into the world and says “I am you… the only difference is I’m forgiven.”
And then they share forgiveness.
No rock throwing for me today… just tears of compassion. Please continue to pray for our camp.