Walk a Mile in Her Shoes
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.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. (John 8:7-9, ESV)
When I walked into a new church after avoiding God for over a year the first person who greeted me was up for a surprise.
Cheerful and sincerely kind, she reached for my hand and introduced herself, only to have me reciprocate by immediately introducing her to my three ‘biggest’ sins and trials. Can you even imagine? It was my way of declaring to all the women in this new congregation, “I’m hurting, messed up and a bit angry at God. This is who I am and so go ahead and judge or reject me.”
My new friend held no stones in her hand. And here I had honestly believed I was going to come to church and find rocks on every seat. So broken, so confused. But God is a god of redemption, grace and mercy. Instead of judgment and hate I found acceptance and healing.
Now, most people don’t typically walk into church with their "biggest" sins announced at the door. The thing is, although I handled my pain in a rather unique way, it’s safe to say there are many walking into our fellowships in the same spiritual state. We need to learn to drop our stones (or stony dispositions) open our arms and accept them.
And the first person we need to accept is the church lady in the mirror. Christ forgave us of our sins, who are we to not forgive ourselves? Once we unclench our fists, the stones will fall, freeing our hands to reach out and love others.
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