I’m sharing one of my former blog posts to commemorate the Easter season.
A crowd of men pushes and shoves me outside my house, tearing my clothes, slapping my head. Their deep voices swirl around me, angry and taunting. The dark tones rumble, thirsty for blood. My blood.
I try to wrap my half-dressed body with my shawl, preserving what little modesty I have left. The suddenness of being discovered in bed with my lover has left me in shock. No hope of escape. Their condemnation will have its cruel way.
My heart races, chugging and pounding against my rib cage, pleading to jump out of my chest and dash away.
Clouds of dust boil around my feet as the mob pushes me toward the temple. Many pairs of dusty sandals rush in unison, stomping like a judge wielding a gavel.
“Guilty!” The Scribes scream.
“Condemned!” The Pharisees spit.
Hope has spread its wings and flown. Their hatred settles on me, like a buzzard taking up permanent residence.
Swells of roaring deafen me. Their righteous indignation drowns me.
Rough hands cast me to the ground. My shoulder scrapes across uneven rocks, tearing my flesh. The jolt smacks my side and sends pain down my leg.
I reach out to stop the momentum, but a sandaled foot crushes my hand. I collapse from the pain, laying my head down, observing dirt mingle together with my blood.
My head has changed into a heavy melon. I cannot see my persecutors through the black veil of my mangled hair.
My heart wrings itself dry of tears. Hopelessness consumes me as I surrender to their hands. My guilt waits for the sharp sting of justice, ushering death. I brace myself for the pounding of the rocks. My body shakes with fear.
Seconds pass. Every muscle in my body is tensed.
Voices raise poignant questions through the air. “The Law of Moses says to stone her . . . what do you say?”
I inhale a weak breath through my mouth, pressed hard into the dirt.
“Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” This voice is full of authority.
Where are the stones that should be crushing my head? Are they planning something more painful? What are they doing? My entire body throbs.
Stones pummel, one after another, to the ground.
I cringe and gasp for my last breath.
Still, nothing touches me.
The ground vibrates with sandaled footsteps. I hear a creak of leather coming closer and can discern the outline of a man’s foot.
I raise my heavy head enough to peer at him through my hair. My eyes focus. Surprise jolts through me as I look into His face.
I know this man.
Liquid love oozes from his understanding eyes. Compassion flows from his smile. Holiness bathes his being, making me even more ashamed of myself. How can he look on me—an adulteress? I am not worthy of his attention.
“Woman, where are they?”
I push up a little, looking around for the first time. I’m outside the temple, and the men have disappeared. Only He is before me.
“Did no one condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” I answer, still not comprehending what has happened.
“Neither do I condemn you. Go your way and sin no more.”
He pulls me to my feet. The touch of His hand electrifies my entire body. All pain dissolves, and I am bathed in total peace. My flesh that was bloody and torn is now whole. I feel reborn.
He turns and walks inside the temple. I watch him with a clean heart, washed and dressed in the newness of gratitude and hope. Yes, I will sin no more. I am overcome with amazement that I am alive and not dead.
I begin to step toward home when I see something on the ground. It looks like someone wrote a word in the dirt. I pause to read it.
Fresh tears run down my face. “Messiah!”
I will never be the same.