March 05, 2013
He knew she was coming. He had been waiting around the city for it.
He could see them, somewhere in the back of His mind’s eye. Dragging her from her bed, knocking down the faceless man who would pick up his clothes and run from the rage of all of the city’s religious leaders and the mob they gathered. She watched him escape in the midst of the chaos with nothing left but the silver he came with. The feigned intimacy of the night before shattered in a moment like the breaking of glass.
She would die for it.
They yelled this as they drug her through the city, screaming obscenities and brandishing the stones of the Holy Law that they knew so well but didn’t quite understand.
He understood, though. He was there when it was written.
They shoved her ahead of them as they went, kicking her body now heavy with waves of terror, shame and despair shooting through her veins. They picked her back up again, their fingers digging into her soft, feminine skin barely clothed from the sin that now marked her. The sin that dehumanized her to no higher than some kind of diseased animal. The stones pounded her, brutal with the hatred of the force that bore them. They laughed as she cried out in agony, her blood staining the stone’s surfaces.
They were getting closer. He could hear them now. Just as He knew, they were bringing her to Him.
“Teacher!” they cried. “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?”
It was a test. One He wasn’t blind to. Suddenly, His body grew heavy with the weight of the Mission. They could not imagine an eternity away from Their beloved creation, no matter how twisted with darkness it had become. He bent and drew in the sand before Him. Only His death would save them now... from everything and from themselves all at once.
Breaking His reverie, the mob persisted in their questioning. She watched Him, trembling and bleeding, waiting for His answer.
He stood, frustrated with their lack of understanding. The weight of the balance of the universe crushing His shoulders. It wasn’t just her, the obvious indiscretion. It was all of them. But there was only one truth in the midst of it...
He never wanted to be without them.
“He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
His words carried over the scene, laden with His thoughts and with His purpose. He bent again to the words in the sand he had left.
They dropped her before them. She crouched low and covered her head, the sound of the stones falling aimlessly out of the hands behind her filled her ears, echoing in her chest.
They left her there and dispersed.
He stood and watched her for a moment, remembering well the expanse of the life still trembling in front of Him, and the hopelessness that led her to this point.
“Woman,” he said. “Where are they? Did no one condemn you?”
Her eyes met His and she shook her head. “No one, Lord.”
“I do not condemn you either,” He told her as He offered His hand that would soon be scarred with a nail that would save them all.
Kate Hightower is writing to you in the midst of her Master of Divinity pursuit at Gordon-Conwell—Jacksonville where she is also a Byington Scholar. She is a debilitatingly right-brained, born-in-the-wrong-century, introspective pseudo-nerd with passions that range anywhere from writing, to French cooking to Bob Dylan. These days she resides in Jacksonville with one mental foot in the GCTS Library downtown, and the other is beach-side with her Golden Retriever, Stella… the world's first dog superhero.