Woman – one word that conjures so many visually explosive thoughts. A word where the very essence of sexuality can make a man millions. Yet, a woman caught in the wrong situation it can cost her everything…even her life.
I really didn’t know too much about the back-story just some rumors and rumblings. She was single…no husband just a string of men – some single, some married, and some liars. The women that met at the community center on Wednesday mornings would whisper about her. They were consumed with her life. Each week they added-up how many men she had but none of them counted what it cost her. None of them heard her scream in the dark when those men roughed her up just a little-tiny-bit trying to have some fun. While, she did, what she did, cause only God knows why.
My husband has always been a skeptical man…timing and convenience will always bother him. I can only share my part of this story: First, I saw him come up the back alleyway dressed like he was going to work. I think he was merchant…you know a salesman. Then, early afternoon around lunch, I was hanging the laundry on the line in the backyard. That’s when I heard the Pharisees, soldiers and the horsemen. They raced up the alley through the back gate and stormed her house.
The soldiers caught her in the very act…and dragged her half naked body out of her house. They wanted to display her DNA. They waited for her…while she waited for him! What if there was Periscope, Instagram, Twitter…or a simple cell phone video? The hits, the tweets…the vines…her life would have gone viral…like a disease.
When that back door busted open and I saw the helmets of those guards, the rage on their faces and the thirst for blood in their eyes, I hid under the table the one we use to press olive oil. I listened for the sound of ‘Her Man’s’ voice but I only heard her screaming, ’You’re hurting me, you’re hurting my wrists!’
When their voices became faint, I got the courage to stand up. When my husband came home, he wanted to know if they took the guy. I told him no. When the soldiers left her house, ‘Her Man’ ran in the opposite direction praying he could fly. Later than night people were still talking, no news…no word on the street…no one returned to her home. My husband mutters when he speculates and he knew this was not over…she was set-up…maybe it was the man she was with…who knows? I would never let it slip that it was the Pharisees or one of the scribes.
“Now early[a] in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery.” There was a situation up-in the temple! She would be stoned. My husband was right. They kept that woman all night and waited for Jesus to come in the morning …kill two birds with one stone…trick Jesus and kill the woman.
Anyhow, my husband went down to the temple the next morning. He had to see for himself. He wasn’t surprised that ‘Her Man’ wasn’t there even though the law speaks of the death of both the man and the woman that were involved – justice, grace and mercy had left the building. How could the woman get a fair trial…when she wasn’t in the bed by herself!
“Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.”And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
My husband came home praising Jesus…he knew, “O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the Lord, the spring of living water” (Jer 17:13).
Jesus met the woman at the well…and He wrote the names of the other men in the dust for all to read. My husband knew their faces from running out the back gate but now he knew their names names as the left scattering their stones.