Monday, May 20, 2013

The Woman in the Church

The church was packed that Christmas Eve; candles lit the whole room with illuminating vibrance. Carols rang out to shout the glory of our God becoming a baby to save the world. Hundreds, maybe thousands, gathered of different sizes, color, and culture. It was magical.

A woman with a child walked in and sat down in the pew. She tried to convince the child to sit still. She was not dressed in homely clothing; she didn't look poor. She wore a dress so high on her legs it was shocking and enough plunging neckline to make the dress look more like a towel than a dress. She had the highest, glittery, spiked platform heels one could imagine and the loudest hair and makeup to complete the look. A Proverbs 7 woman was what she portrayed, the woman who beckons attention and arouses lust.

Men were having to turn heads and the squirming people around her were obvious. There was one woman sitting to one side who started rolling her eyes; she whispered and made subtle gestures toward the highly immodest woman. 

Yes, this story is true.
I saw the whole thing play out and was angered -- not at the actions of the woman with the child, but at the actions of the woman in the pew. Now we talk a lot about modesty and it's important, and I hate that women are viewed as objects of lust rather than the magnificent artistry of the Lord, but, Sisters, are our judgmental actions pushing women away from Christ?

Jesus had the same issue.

Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 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. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
John 8:2-11

Imagine this adulteress brought to Jesus. If she was caught in the act of adultery, she probably had lack of clothing when cast in the midst of the crowd. The people would have been staring and casting judgment, even to death. What does Jesus do? He starts writing in the sand. We don't know what He was writing, but in the high tension of the moment, He just bends down and scribbles. Think of the crowd and how the eyes that cast judgment on the adulteress turn to Jesus and change to eyes of wonder. When He speaks, everyone listens. And when their hearts are penetrated, they leave. Jesus took the focus off the woman and onto Himself so that He could speak to the hearts of the people.

This is the point, Sisters! 

The woman who was in church that day I might never see again until Judgment Day. I mourn because I don't know her story. I don't know if she is a follower of Christ. I didn't get to meet her that day and none of the people around me got to meet her, either (as far as my observance).

That woman could have been the "adulteress woman" like the one cast in front of Jesus. And I was not the reaching hands of Christ to her to tell her that none condemn you and to sin no more. I was more concerned about guarding my brother's eyes than saving a soul.

So dear Sisters in Christ, we are faced with the adulteress woman every day. She is dead in sin and has the fate of eternity away from Christ. Jesus may have directed His eyes to the ground, but He did not divert His attention away from her soul. My prayer is that you will help me reach out to these women, looking beyond the exterior and looking to their hearts who need Christ.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post. I've always had a struggle looking past the appearances of a person, but I hope to change that. Thank you for sharing this.