Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Forgiven

Hester was in trouble. She had been seen committing adultery, by her high school buddy Neil of all people. Neil was still not over her, he had always had a thing for her but after they graduated Hester's father had given her to old Tom Wiener the general store owner and Neil had to let her go. Tom was alright as such but he was very old, nearly ninety, and didn't really have time for a young little thing like Hester who was only 23 now. Even after they were married Tom never spent any time with her and had only made love to her that one time on their marriage night five years ago, never since. It wasn't fair! Now she was in serious trouble, in fact today was more than likely her last day on earth. How could God do this to her? He was supposed to be a god of love.
Neil had come to give her some flowers he had just picked on his way into the town from the farm where he worked and on entering the front room, which for some unknown reason she had left open, heard her groaning and crying out. He had barged into her bedroom thinking she was in trouble and stopped dead in his tracks, mouth open like a stranded fish. He was as white as a sheet and just stood there until she screamed at him to get out. Hester had no idea who had been with him but within seconds the room filled with men. They didn't say anything at first then Simon grabbed her by the hair and dragged her out into the street. She hadn't even had time to grab a robe or any clothes and now they were dragging her down the road by her hair, naked and bleeding. There was that old woman from the carpenters shop screaming "Harlot, Harlot." at the top of her lungs all the while hitting her with a stick. People were beginning to line the street and throw things at her but by this time she had already given up trying to cover herself or get away. The law was clear "A woman caught in adultery was to be stoned to death." And she had been caught.
There was some sort of argument going on with the leading men, something about someone called Jehu. . . something or other, she couldn't make out what it was about because at the moment she was face down in the dirt with blood running down from a wound on her forehead where someone had hit her with a rock.
It had been a long time since she could get to her feet, they had dragged her through the streets for hours and as time passed the crowd had gotten bigger and more rowdy. Now they were pulling her to her feet again by her hair and pushing her forward into some sort of clearing, it was difficult for her to understand what was going on, she was in such pain but at the same time she knew that it would be over soon. They were going to stone her to death and then all her pain and loneliness would be over forever. She would not go like a criminal but would hold her head up and look into their eyes while they killed her.
Slowly painfully she lifted her head and looked at the man who was to pass sentence on her. Someone, she still could not hear properly, spoke out telling this man that she had been caught in the very act of committing adultery, as if the whole town had not already heard, and the law demanded her stoning. This man, Jehu or Jeshua or Jesus or something didn't even look at her, he just sat down and wrote something in the dust on the ground. Now what kind of man was that? He couldn't even look at her in the eye.
The crowd was getting more and more rowdy and was swelling even though the square where they were was already crowded, it seemed as if the only clear space was around her and she definitely didn't want to be there. They town leaders were demanding something from this strange character in front of her when all of a sudden he looked up and turning to Neil who was looking very ashen said "He who is without fault may cast the first stone." Well that was the go ahead and Hester felt all the strength drain out of her as she started to collapse. She had been so determined to be brave but now she couldn't even hold her head up as she looked at her feet seeing the blood and broken skin for the first time. All she could think of was how much it was going to burn when she washed the cuts in sour wine.
No stones were hitting her anymore and the crowd seemed to be thinning, things were getting very quiet, maybe she had already died and hadn't noticed yet! Hester looked up into the most forgiving and understanding face she had ever seen. The man looked at her and quietly, almost in a whisper asked "Has no one condemned you?" Well she was obviously still alive and the crowd had almost all left and someone, she had no idea who, had put a cloak over her naked body. "No one, my Lord." she answered not knowing what else to say, she was still in a daze. The strange man with the kindly face reached up and standing put his arm around Hester and said "Neither do I. Go and don't do that again." Then he called someone called Mary and told her to take Hester home and to tend to her injuries.
When you finally meet Jesus for the first time do not expect the expected but instead expect love that surpasses all understanding.

11 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed reading this Geoff. I often wondered what Jesus was writing in the dirt...maybe the names of all of those self-righteous men who, themselves, had committed adultery. The most important part of course is that Jesus told the woman go and not sin again. At that time she became a believer in the Lord and witnessed in His name. God bless, Lloyd

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  2. I love the last line. So true :)

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  3. You can always be counted on for new insights into the Bible, Geoff. I appreciate that you post your thoughts. You paint with words in this one!

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  4. Thanks for that wonderful re-telling of that Bible story. God Bless!
    http://tyreanswritingspot.blogspot.com/

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  5. You told that story so beautifully. Now I understand.
    Thank you:)

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  6. A beautiful retelling with so much clarity. Thank you...

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  7. Well told...thank you for sharing!

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  8. Your words often help to bring strength to my faith.
    Judgement and vengenence are not what they Lord desires from us. Thank you for reminding us.

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  9. To all who commented I would just like to let you know that when writing this post I could not hold the tears back. Today when I returned to this particular post they started all over again. Forgiveness is something we all seem to need in our lives, me above all. Jesus came to let us, who are burdened, know that just as we forgive our children unconditionally, so too does God, who made us his children, forgive us.
    This particular post humbles me. Love, Geoff.

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  10. I reread this post today after reading what Child of God http://cprezra823.blogspot.com/2011/06/come-as-you-are.html
    had written about this same scripture and tears filled my eyes.
    The god of love reached out and touched me again after more than two thousand years.

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  11. Beautiful!!

    Isn't His love amazing? My heart melts inside of me knowing just how much He loves us.

    Geoff, you captured a part of Jesus' character so well. Kind, gentle and so full of love. Thank you for telling me about this post your wrote; love it!

    I see you are very gifted with words and story telling. What a wonderful gift our Lord has given you, I am glad that I can be on the receiving end of such a story teller.

    Blessings,
    <><

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