~ Neither Do I ~
John, Chapter 8
It was early morning and I lay, thankful for a bed.
What it had cost me didnít matter. I had a
little food, a blanket. "Caring for me" was a mockery,
I knew. I never planned to live this way.
Things happen. Sometimes, it seems to me, we are
not in control. Maybe, I could rest here, a day.
The man, beside me, stirred. He didnít touch me
now. I heard some steps, many feet, outside on
the cobblestones ~ muffled voices. Suddenly, the
door flew open and there were people (men),
everywhere. I pulled the covers up, around my
shoulders, and sat up. They were shouting, now, and
hands were reaching for me. They didn't reach
for him ~ just me. He did nothing to stop them.
Jerking me, hurting me, not even allowing me to dress!
These men were the high religious men from the
Sanhedrin court! They pulled me to the door and
down the street. They were headed for the
I knew the law. I knew my life was over. I
wondered how it would feel to be stoned to death.
I had thought of it before. Maybe a stone to my
head would render me unconscious and I wouldnít have
to endure all the pain and suffering of death.
They pushed me roughly into the temple; where people
gawked and stared, and drew their breath back in a
gasp. I held the covers to me, wrapping them
around my body as tightly as I could. They
pushed me down into the courtyard dust. I didnít
resist. I just fell harder. At last this
terrible trial called "life" was over. But, what
then? Hades? Hell? I had no hope.
I just surrendered.
"Master!" A tall man turned. "Master, look
Yesterday, a number of the Temple police had been sent
out to arrest this "Master", Jesus. When they came
back, empty handed (although they plainly saw and
heard Him in the temple teaching), the Chief Priest
and high authorities asked why.
"Never, did a man speak like this!" they declared.
They had been held in awe, listening to the discussion
of who He was. They watched the results as some
believed and some did not. Some wanted Him
arrested. But NO ONE touched him.
Back this morning, He had already gone apart for
prayer and joined them in discussing the scriptures.
Now this Great Teacher, whom some thought was John the
Baptist re-incarnated, was looking at me. There
was nowhere to hide, nowhere to run to, and I had
heard John at the Jordan; that wild man, screaming,
"Repent, repent," to everyone ~ even Herod.
This man, whomever He was, held my fate. I
understood, but did not understand how. There was much
gossip about Him. About miracles He had done,
people he had fed.
This crowd was hungry too, for my death! I
looked at the men. Some I had seen before in a
different setting. They stood towering over me
now. I could almost read their minds ~ lust is
easy to see.
"We caught her in the very act of adultery! What
shall we do with her?"
I expected screams of, "Stone her! Stone her!"
But, there was silence. The whole roomís gaze
was on Jesus ... as if more than just my life depended
on His answer.
"Moses law says ..."
"It is written ..."
"Teacher, what do YOU say?"
As Jesus turned to the crowd. I pulled the
blanket even closer and doubled myself up, as small as
I could. Jesus was not looking at me. He
was looking, not at the crowd but at the temple police
and the Priests and Pharisees. He glanced
Heavenward. Then I saw Him look intently, at the
religious elite. He stooped down and made marks
on the ground.
They pressed him, ploying Him for an answer. I
could not see what marks were on the ground.
"Moses! Our great law giver ~ he said ..." but
"Then, stone her! But ... let the one with no
sin cast the first stone!"
He bent down, again. With His finger, he began a
line. I couldnít tell if He was drawing or,
maybe, writing. But, they were all interested.
They stepped closer. He continued. They, each,
passed by and read what He wrote in the sand.
There was a certain look, that crossed each face, as
they saw what was in the sand. What could He be
writing? Their name? Their sin? It
grew very still.
Iím not saying there was peace. For they were
disturbed. The oldest of the group stepped up to
Jesus, who kept writing. He just turned and
slipped away. One by one, according to their
age, they stepped up, looked at the dust, and slipped
I was weeping; (fear having had itís way with me.)
Then I heard a voice, like no other, "Woman, where are
I looked up ... His eyes! Mercy written all over
His tender face! Mercy for me! The tears
were flooding my face.
"Doth no man condemn thee?"
I dropped my eyes, my head, "No man, sir".
"Neither do I. Go, and sin no more."
How could a man like this, so pure and holy, find
mercy for me? How could He gain authority over
the Chief priests and Pharisees? How could
simple words, written in the dust of the court yard,
bring silence to these accusers?
Hope began to rise in my heart! I stood and
clutched my covering. My bare feet carried me to
my abode, where I fell on my knees; begging
forgiveness, begging help from Jehovah. I bathed and
dressed, combed my hair ~ washed my face. Then,
I deliberately turned my steps toward the temple
Perhaps, He was still there! Perhaps, I could
listen and learn. Perhaps, I could do some small
task for Him! As I entered the temple, I heard
the sweetest voice saying, "I am the Light of the
world. He that followeth me shall not walk in
darkness ... Living Light will flood your path!"
I fastened my eyes upon this Son of God. He
looked up. His blue eyes met mine. The
mercy still shone through! Psalms 18
© 2004 by Joan Clifton Costner