I was doomed for destruction!
As I was dragged along by the burly bullies, almost naked aside from the shawl I quickly tied around my waist, fear like liquid lead percolated in my soul and crystallized into a solidified mass of dread that made my whole being heavier with each step taken. What transpired the last time this happened ran vividly in Technicolour across my mind in slow motion. I could see her pretty face as the projectiles unleashed by a mob frothing at the mouth with religious fervor hit her with unerring accuracy. Her face dissolved into a pulp of bone, gristle, flesh and bones. Her whole body became disjointed. She was made over in a horrific way that still gives me nightmares. What was left over at the end of the gruesome exercise could never be deemed to be a person but broken debris of humanity. Fountains of blood spurted and jetted from different parts of that wrecked mass, a crimson tide which ebbed into caked bloody ponds from which hordes of flies drank their fill. But it was her screaming that still got to me the most, the piercing shriek of a tortured banshee in excruciating agony, a maddened ultrasonic sound that shattered the glass of my consciousness. As I was hauled away unceremoniously, my mind could not could not come to terms with the fact that I was about to become like her!
Funnily though, I had continued plying my trade before now despite the punishment I knew would be meted out to me if I was ever caught. I had to eat! The need for food has always blunted the serrated, razor, sharp edge of my horrors. Ultimately I had been caught in the very act of adultery and was now going to be stoned to death.
To make matters worse, I was being hauled to the temple so any chance of going scot free had been erased completely.
The temple is a den of religious vipers, Pharisees and Sadducees who will judge me guilty in world record time. To make matters worse, I overhead that the Galilean would be there, He who was even more righteous than the snakes mentioned above. There was no squirming out of this one. I was thoroughly hooked!
It turned out that I was bait for one of their religious games to ensnare the Galilean; another woman caught up in the intrigues of a man’s world. My partner in the tango dance for which the death sentence stared me in the face had long gone. Funny, he was supposed to be guilty too but I was left to shoulder the burden of sin for both of us. But what kind of people sees a human life as something cheap and dispensable in the bid of trying to snare another? These people were worse than I am but were too blinded by religion to see it.
When we got to Him, they brought out their arguments; Moses had said that the crime I had committed was punishable by death. But instead of answering them, the weird man that self allegedly called Himself the Son of God kept doodling in the sand. What kind of a man plays in the sand when someone’s life is at stake? Just my luck that my destiny had to be at the mercy of such a one as this, He did not even look up but kept writing in the dust like a child. A frisson of anger and irritation flared with my fear drenched soul. He should just get it over with; I can’t stand this any longer.
His silence dragged, but my accusers were persistent and kept pestering Him like pesky flies until he raised his head and said “he that has no sin should cast the first stone”. The hush that ensued made a graveyard seem noisier than a market place.
My would be executioners were stabbed with conviction and started to leave one at a time dropping the weapons that had been custom picked for my painful death. They must have realized that we all live in glass houses and should never throw stones because ALL of us have been caught right in the very act of one thing or another. We are all guilty because we have all sinned. Mine was adultery, his was stealing public funds, hers was peddling venomous and poisonous gossip and the list goes on interminably.
Mouth agape, I kept looking at the growing pyramid of stones that would have been the end of me until they all left and my fear began to recede into the distance. I now had enough presence of mind to take a peek at what He was writing. In lovely prints, He had written that the free gift of grace now trumps the law. I saw that He had re-written my story in the sands of time. He had closed the past and opened a new chapter for a new story. Instead of an adulterer, He called me woman. He did not see my past but saw me as I am. I was dazed! I came to be condemned. Instead of Judgment, I got mercy. Instead of pain, I got relief. I got a new lease of life, a sweet taste of freedom.I have one more shot at life because MERCY SAID NO!!!
He finally lifted his head and His eyes bore through my soul. He asked about my accusers, if no one had accused me. I told Him no and He smiled at me. To me His smile was a snowy white ocean where angels took their bath before embarking on divine assignments and I could feel its warmth melting the snow caps of the Mount of Olives.
I left with his last words ringing in my head. “NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU, GO AND SIN NO MORE”…..