When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Before we had to deal with my husband’s incarceration, this verse was simply a good reminder to me that none of us is free of judgement; we all sin. After his incarceration and subsequent release, I want to scream that verse at the top of my lungs to everyone and anyone who looks at my husband sideways. We all screw up. Plain and simple. It’s so easy to point the finger at others because it removes the attention from ourselves. I’m here to tell you that the truth is, not one of us has the ability to rightfully toss that first stone, though there are plenty who feel duty bound to hand them out and line people up for target practice. It’s a frustrating fact of life and it’s played out day after day.
One of the “lesson-gifts” of the past several years is learning to look at both sides of a story. When I learned of a tragedy from our former town, one of the first thoughts that went through my head were the tremendous loss to BOTH sides. When mistakes are made, crimes committed, or accidents occur, every single action has a DOMINO reaction. It is a lesson our children, our family, and our friends have witnessed and experienced first hand. It is a difficult lesson. It is a lesson with a perpetual learning curve. However, the lesson is only “good” when it can be used to break the cycle of judgement. Turning our eyes to our own heart, realizing we ALL make mistakes helps us to encourage those who want to break free from damaging patterns in their lives. Isnt’ that what we strive for? To live a better life?
I’ve learned, for me, setting myself apart from another person because “I never did THAT!”, or “How can someone do THAT?” , only places me front and center stone in hand. In reality, there is very little that separates the guard from the prisoner, the addict from the soccer mom, the judge from the accused. It’s a thin line. If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourself, you will be blown away. We are all human. We all sin. Thankfully, we are all given the opportunity for grace, salvation and a chance at redemption through Christ. It is a gift we can redeem at any moment.
One song that captures this so well, is by The band “Tenth Avenue North” : You are more I love to remind my husband of this every chance I get. And my children. And myself. And you. Because it’s true.
You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.
YOU are amazing. I am singing the Tenth Avenue North song in my head right now…