John 8Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them.The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, "Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?" They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, "The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone." Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt. Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. "Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?" "No one, Master."
"Neither do I," said Jesus. "Go on your way. From now on, don't sin."
Before the trial began, the judge spoke to the jury. In essence he told them that the accused entered the court room an innocent woman. Although she had been accused of crimes, the burden to prove her guilt was up to the state. Until that burden had been met, she remained an innocent woman. I let that settle in for a moment and it changed the way I viewed the rest of the trial. I came to realize that not only should I look at the trial differently, I should approach my day to day interactions differently. I've been guilty of putting people in a box due to past interactions with them, taping the lid shut, never to allow them to break out of "the box" to hurt me again. Likewise, I've had people put me in a box due to interactions, which may have been harsh, irrational, or simply just taken wrong, and there I am, sitting in a dark closed in box, usually of my own making. Casey will forever be known as at best, the woman who did not report her child missing, or at worse, got away with murder. Regardless of what good she may move on to do on this earth, she will never be able to escape the box that her actions has put her in. Thank God for mercy!!! What do you think Jesus wrote in the dirt? The 10 commandments? Sins he knew had been committed by those surrounding the woman? Names? Whatever it was, it settled into the hearts of the woman's accusers and they dropped their rocks and walked away. Something tells me they didn't have their heads held high. Sometimes I forget that I'm not as "good" as I want to be, and will look at others with judgement.... Then I remember who I really am. I'm greatly flawed, yet tenderly loved by a merciful God. My prayer is to be able to look at others and remember that they are the same. I'll throw my rocks down and remember if it wasn't for Mercy, justice for all would be harsh on every one of us.... Me included.