“God Encounters” is a series of fictional stories based on encounters with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit found in scripture.
John 8:3-11 “The scribes ad Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, he straightened up, and said them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stopped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”
How did I get here? I’m a good person. I come from a good home and family. I have completely disgraced my family. Even if I were to live through this, they would never speak to me again. I don’t understand where I went so horribly wrong and off course! What’s going to happen to me? Oh God, if you are there, please rescue me. But why, why would God rescue me? I deserve this to happen. I must have a serious character flaw that I was just able to hide from everyone and now I’m getting what I deserve. I am seriously evil and no one noticed. I’m not worth any amount of kindness. This cold cell is exactly what I deserve and the horrific anticipation of the guilty verdict that’s coming is my lot. I’ve been playing with fire and now I’m getting burned and it’s what I’ve got coming to me. How did I get here?
I remember the day we met back so many years ago. He was a friend of my husband and we just saw each other occasionally. Nothing major other than he was funny and we seemed to click. God, I never want to click with another man again. Don’t need to worry I guess, I’ll be dead by morning. I remember that he was large in stature and personality. As I look back over the years, I realize how high on a pedestal I put him and how much of my heart I gave him. Who knew I would be giving my life because of him now.
He was beautiful. Actually, he still is beautiful. Dark hair, tall, large arms, deep eyes, and a big smile with an even bigger personality. He was everything I wanted and everything I thought I needed and yet everything I shouldn’t go near. He was so different from my husband in how he treated me because he made me feel important. He told me I was important. He made me feel important. I hope I was important because if not, I’m going to die for nothing. I’m going to die.
All the years of being careful are gone. All the years of hearing him tell me of his dream to be with me are gone. All the years of giving all of my free time are gone. All my years are gone. I’m gone. Actually, I’m not gone yet, but I wish I was gone. He’s gone. He left so quickly it was like he was never there. No goodbye, no I’m sorry, no I love you. I’m here and he’s home probably going to bed. How could I be so stupid?
I wonder what is taking so long? Why are they keeping me in this cold cell waiting? Why can’t they just stone me and get it over with! I deserve to die. There is no mercy for me. I heard them talking about some new teacher in town that they wanted to consult to see what he would do. I think they called him Jesus. What’s the purpose in this other than to humiliate me even more?
Humiliate me. That’s an understatement. When they burst into the room and caught us in the middle of our moment I screamed and fell into this deep pit of fear and darkness. Every ounce of fun we ever had over all these years drained out of me as if I were a glass that lost its bottom and all its contents. The look of disgust in his eyes was more painful than any pain I’ve ever felt. He hated me at that moment like somehow it was MY fault that we got caught! They ripped us apart and started screaming at us to get dressed. They threw me down on the ground and hurled all types of insults at me. I was wishing they would just hit me because the pain in my head from their voices and the spit on my face from their anger was more than I could bear. When I looked around I noticed that one man had taken him outside and was talking to him in a normal voice. I couldn’t believe that this was going to be all my fault but I was slowly realizing that was the truth of the situation. He was going to walk away. He wasn’t going to even try to save me. And as he turned to leave he looked at me and killed me with his glare. The stones coming my way won’t hurt as much.
Jesus. Why are the leaders going to this guy? Who is he? Moses gave us the Law and in it is the clear direction that anyone caught in adultery is to be stoned to death. Why drag this out more? No one goes against the Law so what’s Jesus going to do for me? This pain in my heart and body is turning to frustration as I sit here waiting. I have no hope and no reason to hope that the judges will find me anything but guilty. There’s really no way to deny what they saw when they came in. My life is over so let’s just get this over with please. I hear the footsteps now. Wait! I’m not ready! I don’t want to die! Please God, save me. I can’t stop crying but I want to be strong and face my judges head on. Someone save me.
I’m moving as fast as I can, they don’t need to push and shove me so much. I’m hurting enough and I’m headed to my death, can’t they show me even an ounce of kindness and not be so rough? I hope I’m standing where they said correctly because I don’t want them yelling at me anymore. Jesus. He looks so average yet he looks so kind. Why isn’t he glaring at me like the others are? Is that love I see in his eyes? I must have lost my mind already and started to go crazy from fear because there is no way he’s looking at me lovingly. I’m not lovely. I’m evil, doesn’t he see that?
Why are they asking him if they should stone me? If they are coming to him for any kind of answers shouldn’t they assume he knows that I deserve death? What kind of game is this they are using my life to play with him? He’s looking at me with love again. STOP! I want to scream at him to stop looking at me like that but I don’t. Is he writing in ground to stone me? Is he drawing a diagram for them on the best angle to hit me and make it the most painful?
What did he just ask them? I must have heard him wrong. Did he just tell them that the one who has no sin in his life is the one who can throw the first stone? Why isn’t he just confirming what Moses already directed and confirming that I should die? What game is this? Why would he go against the Law for me? I can feel my body getting tense as I close my eyes and wait to feel the first stone. But I’m not feeling a stone. I look over at Jesus again and he’s drawing more on the ground. Doesn’t this guy understand what’s happening here? It’s not art hour, it’s dying time and he’s drawing in the dirt!
Wait a minute, do I hear footsteps behind me. Listen. I do hear feet and they are walking away! What is happening here? More people from in front of me are starting to walk away. Jesus isn’t even paying attention!! Is this a trick? Are they walking away to find bigger stones to kill me with? Where on earth is everyone going? I don’t think I can take more of this fear.
Jesus. He’s looking at me again. Of course he’s looking at me again, it’s only he and I here in the court! Everyone has left. Everyone has left? Why on earth did that happen? Why would these leaders just walk away and not challenge him and stone my anyways?. I can barely breathe and if my heart pounds any harder I think I’ll die. He’s just looking at me lovingly again. My eyes are full of tears and I feel myself shrinking inside at his gaze. He is absolute love. I’ve never seen anyone like him.
He just asked me a question and I don’t know how to answer. “Did no one condemn you?” What does that mean? I don’t think I understand the question, give me a minute. Focus on breathing and trying to wrap my brain around the situation and answer. Did I just squeak out a simple answer? I think I said “no one” didn’t I? I’m so confused. There is no one here to stone me and certainly he’s not going to do it alone. That’s not how it’s done.
What did he just say? Go home? Go home! Go home and sin no more. I can’t move, those words are just rolling over in my head and I can’t move. Is this mercy? Why would Jesus give me mercy? My judges left it up to him to judge me and he says go home. My face is hot and I feel the tears just streaming down my cheeks. I’ve never felt this type of love from anyone and I’m not sure what to do. Go home and sin no more. Jesus isn’t condemning me, he’s forgiving me. I’m free! I’m free! Today is not the day I taste death’s sting. Jesus has known my sin and let me go home!!
Oh Lord, let us feel your love like the woman caught in adultery felt your love. All of us at one time or another, or maybe now, have put someone or something in place above You and committed adultery. We have cheated on you with our time and our love and we are condemned. Yet you grant us mercy when we didn’t even know mercy was an option! You forgive us before we even know how to ask for forgiveness. Thank you, Jesus, for letting us go home. Keep us from every straying. Keep us on Your path and in close to Your heart.