The First Stone

23 07 2012

Another horrible act of violence fills this morning’s headlines. Families ripped apart, lives destroyed, anguish magnified, and hearts shattered. Sin is splattered across the news like paint thrown carelessly against a wall. It drips and oozes and spreads its stain across our souls.

I shake my head, dazed by the power of evil all around us. My tears fall for the victims. My heart hurts for the community whose sense of safety has been splintered. And my thoughts begin extracting vengeance. “He deserves…” “No punishment is…” “He needs to see…”

“And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.’” – John 8:7

Like the crowd surrounding Jesus and the woman caught in adultery, I have a stone in my hand. I am anxious for wrongs to be recognized, scores to be settled, and blame to be fixed. Jesus asks me to ask myself a question. What do I deserve?

The accounting of my sins is brutal. The list is long, heavy, and suffocating. I deserve death. God gives me grace instead.

I am not excusing evil, minimizing its impact, or suggesting that justice be set aside. But when I look in the mirror and look at the world, I want to see with the eyes of Jesus. Jesus saw a violent soul, an adulterer’s soul, a liar’s soul, a gossip’s soul, a thief’s soul, a selfish soul, a prideful soul, my soul, and what He saw filled Him with compassion and moved Him to the cross. He saw what I deserved and loved. He watched my weaknesses and wept. He caught me in the act and went to be crucified. He didn’t stand on the outside and point fingers. He walked in the middle and extended grace.

My Jesus Resolution today is to set my stone down. People have hurt me. My heart has been wounded and wrecked by the thoughtless words and deliberate actions of others. Today I have a choice. I can hold tightly to my stone, letting its hardness shape my heart, dictate my path, and strangle my emotions. Or I can lay the stone at Jesus’ feet, confident He will do exactly the right thing, and walk through my day stunned by grace.


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2 responses

23 07 2012
Linda (Dickey) Bull

You have such a talent. Your words are always inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

23 07 2012
Melissa

All I can say is… Ouch.

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