As promised, following is the script I wrote for Girls Camp- an account of the woman taken in adultery in my own words.
On one of the darkest days of my life, I came face to face with goodness.
I am a married woman. I was caught in the act of adultery by a group of angry men who immediately took me to face judgment. I was not properly dressed nor put together and as we entered the temple I felt naked, humiliated and exposed- not to mention unworthy to be in the temple.
My accusers dragged me in front of a man I had heard much talk of in the city. He was sitting in front of a group of people, teaching. I was degraded as the angry mob began spilling the details to this man whom the people called Jesus. Immediately, I fell to the damp earth in shame, hoping it might swallow me up.
The men intended to catch Jesus in a trap. They told him they had caught me in the very act of adultery. The law dictated that a person caught in adultery must be stoned, although this law had long since been abandoned or uninforced by the Jews. Still, they demanded I should be stoned to death, and then they asked Jesus, “What sayest thou?” Perhaps they were intending for Jesus to declare the law obsolete, which would be proof that he was presuming himself to be above the Law of Moses. Had Jesus proclaimed that I should suffer death, my accusers would have said Jesus was defying Roman authorities who were the only ones authorized to approve capital punishment. If he had said I should go unpunished, they would have charged him with disrespect for the Law of Moses.
I could hear the murmurs of the crowd and wished that I could be swept away from this place- but here I was, caught in the act of doing something that I should not- and I knew I must face the consequences of my actions. I could not do enough to hide my face, wondering if there might be someone I knew among all these people.
The longer the men spoke, the more clear it became to me that they were more interested in condemning Jesus than finding justice for my sin.
Immediately Jesus stooped down. My first instinct was to cover my head with my hands, believing that he was seeking a stone. Instead, with his finger, he began to write in the dirt as though he heard them not- and I relaxed my tense hands.
The men continued pressing Jesus for an answer. Jesus lifted himself up and the crowd quieted. It was at this moment I heard him tell the men, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
He again stooped to the earth and wrote on the ground. And again, the people fell silent.
The mob began to disperse, one by one, being convicted by their own conscience and I was left alone with Jesus. He did not leave me. He asked me where my accusers were? Had any of them condemned me?
I answered, “No man, Lord.”
And Jesus spoke the kindest words anyone had ever spoken to me, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
He never left me. Through the whole ordeal, he stayed and protected me from my accusers. He didn’t forgive me, yet he gave me hope that I could be forgiven. I felt neither condemned nor judged by Jesus but rather that I could repent and turn away from this sin and have a second chance to live worthily. Jesus didn’t worry about the trap that the men were trying to catch him in, instead his concern was for me - he showed me charity and taught me a better way. And in the process invited the men to examine their own lives. He focused on turning the men away and encouraging them to leave the temple, thus preserving the holiness of that place- and inviting me to become a better me.
Not once throughout the experience did Jesus cause me to feel embarrassed or ashamed. He instead taught me that when I make an incorrect decision I am always welcomed by His loving arms, and that I am a beloved daughter of God, worthy of His dignity.
I have never felt more love from an individual than I did on that day.
As I slowly walked the dusty road to my home to face my husband with the knowledge that my sin was public, I felt a joy I had never before experienced. I had been accepted by the one person whose life was the most opposite of mine- and still He loved me. I had been in His presence and had felt of His goodness. And now I knew that I wanted to change and he had taught me how I could do it.
A painful truth I learned was that because of my sin, I could not remain in His presence. But once I repented and promised to forsake that sin, He would always dwell with me.