He admitted to committing a crime. Depression, embarrassment and fear all set in. “Will I lose everything and everyone around me”, he wondered. The thought made him cringe and he wanted to be alone.
But when love poured out from the people around him, he understood. How can I be so loved in spite of my weaknesses?
That question is one we all grapple with because we all have weaknesses. From murder to lying to stealing to selfishness – we all fall at one time in our lives. No wait. We all fall multiple times in our lives.
How do we treat all of fallen humanity? Will I extend my hand and lift a person up or will I cast the stone that sends them into a spiral of death?
The easy way would be to cast the stone. After all, we could reason, that they are deserving of death not life. And yet by throwing the stone, anger and hate build up in the soul.
Easy on the outside — devastating on the inside. That’s why society is so angry all the time. We seek revenge — an eye-for-an-eye.
Not casting the stone means we have to deal with the internal conflict that might arise — no, that does arise. Pain, resentment, questions that go unanswered, embarrassment, shame, betrayal — all rise inside of us and we slowly try to push them down.
The saying “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” is not an easy one to swallow.
Seeing beauty in humanity makes my heart proud.
He admitted to committing a crime. And the response from the people around him was to lift him up out of his despair — unafraid to say “I love you in spite of what you may have done.”
Now — that’s love!
When they kept on questioning Him, He straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7
(Jesus speaking as a crowd gathers to stone a woman caught in adultery)