When they had first come to see her they had spoken as if they had known and understood her, but their words and supposed well intentions had all been lies. She had known that she was guilty, but that was just the beginning of the torment. She and had tried to hide from the whispers and the mockery and the threats. The masks and isolation had worked for awhile but even that became unbearable. When they had finally come for her, she was almost relieved to know that the pain would finally come to an end, even it meant her death. She had attempted to resist them at first, but eventually they had worn her down. Her heart and her spirit broken, she was too worn out and weak to fight any further.
They knew her well, who she was and what she had done and though she tried to keep herself hidden from the stares of the people, her accusers had made her a public spectacle. Dragging her through the streets, she had on occasion looked for compassion and even reached out for help more than once, but the people either stared at her or turned away. Finally, coming into the temple they threw her down in the dirt, her clothes dirty and torn, her body bruised and bleeding. Then they moved to separate themselves from her, picking up stones as they went and finally they turned to Jesus. The leader among them began to speak.
“This woman,” he began, his disgust and disdain wrapped around every word. “This woman was caught in sin. Not just one, mind you, but so many of them and she did them willfully and repeatedly, oftentimes without any apparent remorse or regret.” The speech had been well rehearsed. He had purposed to show the proper air of superiority and righteousness as he gave it. Although his words were spoken loudly so everyone in the crowd could hear and give their approval, he looked directly at the teacher as he put great emphasis on his final statements. “Your law demands such persons should be stoned for their sin. What do you say?”
The sneer of his lips just barely hidden as he waited for the death sentence to be handed down. He had picked up the largest, roughest stone, just waiting for the honor of being able to throw it first.
Jesus bent down and began to write in the sand. He wrote the same words over and over like a schoolboy at lessons. There was a murmuring through the crowd and the chief accuser demanded an answer. Jesus stood and looked at the crowd. He knew them well, behind every face were the same fears and guilt of the broken woman before him. He gestured to the words written at his feet and then bent down to begin to write again.
She held her breath, she heard the stones falling on the ground but none of them seemed to come near. It was so quiet and then he spoke to her gently.
“Here, let me help you up.” He reached for her hand. “Where are they? Does no one condemn you?”
“No one,” she answered, her voice shaking, her hand clenched at her side.
“No one?” he asked again gently, reaching toward her hetook her clenched hand. She looked up into his face and opened her hand. The jagged rock already covered with some of her blood. He took it from her and dropped it. She looked down at her feet and read the words written there: This one is mine and I love her, her debt is paid, her sin is covered, she is free. “Go then with nothing lacking, and nothing broken live the life I have meant for you to live.”