In the same way, this is what writing does to me. I end up on the ground like this woman. Vulnerable, stripped down. Condemnation surrounds me with stones in hand. But Jesus walks up. Jesus meets us in the middle of our dreams, no matter how messed up they seem. Jesus kneels down into the mess of manuscripts and legal pads and journals and scribbles on scraps. And He writes with us. The stones fall heavy around us–but never on us. He redirects our gaze to the empty scene in which we sit; He says with strength, “Where are they, those whose stones were aimed at you? Has no one condemned you?” And we respond with shaky tenor, disbelief dotting our wet eyelashes, “No one, sir.”
And He asks us, He is asking me, to keep going. Jesus doesn’t condemn us. He enables us to keep going. I’m praying for the humility and strength that He exemplifies more than I ever could to overwhelm my spirit and enable me to keep going.
Again the question begs to be asked: Who will we kneel down beside today?
I wrote this earlier this spring, in my personal devotion time. The story at the onset of John 8 has been in my mind this week, so I read it this morning and decided to look up where I had studied and journaled on it. Just knew I needed to share it. Thanks for reading!
This is one of my favorite stories of Jesus’ ministry. Though perhaps not really an episode of the evangelists, I do not think it has survived for nothing. In fact, it almost didn’t. But evidence against it’s truth is small. It even fits with the current storyline of John, in my opinion, with the attitudes of the Pharisees overwhelming their sensibilities so it is not surprising that they would conduct this accusation scene to aggravate the people and to trap Jesus. If he said to stone her, he would have gone against everything He had been teaching. If He had merely said “Don’t stone her,” the Pharisees would have had great cause to accuse him of blasphemy.
But something he does here makes it better for them to just walk away. He really doesn’t even say anything life-shattering. His presence, his nearness to this woman, and his simple, honest, even vulnerable words–that could even put him in the same group with the Pharisees, risking His honor in the process–are enough.
And isn’t that true of Jesus’ whole ministry? Simplicity. Vulnerability. Risking His honor, putting it all on the line to give life, to restore worth to someone else. That is what He is about. Even His words come down to our level in the same way, just as they did here. They do not cut this woman down–neither do they condemn or give her lofty orders. No, they build her back up and enable her to be transformed and walk away new.
In the same way He has spoken to us, enabled us to, and called us to. It takes great humility, an unassuming nature, and a soft voice, just as Jesus had. Who would we kneel down before today?
Now, I’m gonna get closer to home for myself, as a writer (if I have the right to claim such a term). It’s a big, metaphorical leap. Just be prepared. Or stop reading. I hope you’re willing to come along with me.