the woman caught in adultery

One day, while Jesus was on earth, a bunch of people brought a woman they considered to be scum, to Jesus, and dumped her at his feet. They wanted him to condemn her, and she was an easy target considering she had done something that society saw as terrible. These people were not interested in her healing, they had a vested interest in her continuing to live in her sin. If she was living in sin, they had someone to gossip about, and someone to make themselves feel better about their own sins.

Jesus, though, wasn’t playing that game. He told them that unless they were without sin themselves, they need to fuck off. That’s my paraphrase, of course. I took great liberties with it. He knew exactly what they were doing. They hadn’t even brought the man she was screwing with them also, my suspicion is because he was one of them and they knew him. Perhaps some of them had also been with this woman sexually. It is interesting how they didn’t dump her at the feet of Jesus until they were done with her. She was someone they figured they could discard once she no longer served their purposes.

One thing I have learned in recovery, and even in therapy, is that some people want me to remain sick, because if I’m healthy, I’m of no use to them. Some want to use my addiction to justify their own. Some want to use my mental illnesses to make themselves feel superior. Once I get to a point where I’m no longer useful to them, they discard me from their lives. It’s something I’m learning to accept, because as I get healthier, I want to hang around with people who are interested in my being healthy, people that actually care about me. I’ve lost many friends in recovery, but they were people who were holding me back from healing.

Instead of condemning her, Jesus invites her to repentance, and amendment of life. This is an ongoing process as I have learned, but Jesus was invested in her conversion and transformation, not in heaping judgment upon her. Jesus wants this woman whole, and so he runs off those who want to keep her down. Jesus is as invested in my healing as he was in hers. He constantly invites me to walk with him and in so doing, walk in wholeness and sobriety. When I first started recovery, I came to believe that Jesus could restore me to sanity, as the second step says, but I was afraid that although he could, he might not want to, and that scared the shit out of me. I’ve learned since that Jesus does want me well.

Published by MaryClare StFrancis

MaryClare StFrancis is a writer who sounds as boring as hell but who is intimately acquainted with the horrific and the sacred. For a long time, darkness has been her friend, but she now walks in the light of Christ. As a committed Episcopalian, her main contribution to the church is her ability to make the priests facepalm or swear, depending on the day and context. MaryClare has a Master of Arts in English and Creative Writing and lives in Mississippi with her four children.

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