Everyone has a story about someone in their lives that has looked beyond their brokenness and recognized a valuable person inside. The person in my story is my sister La Vonne. As a divorced mom of two very small toddlers, I returned to my hometown to live and raise my girls. As a previous stay-at-home mom with only a high school education, I did not feel equipped to find a job that could support my family. Who would hire me with no higher education and very little work experience? My sister and her husband managed a restaurant in this small town and after discussing my dilemma with her, she asked if I would be willing to wait tables a couple of nights a week. I remember asking her, “Do you think I am capable of doing that?” She replied, “of course you are.” La Vonne looked through my brokenness to give me an opportunity to feel valued when I did not think I was worthy.
The dialogue regarding the religious leaders and Jesus unfolds in front of the woman without any input from her. I have a number of questions regarding the conversation between the leaders and Jesus. Where was the man who was committing adultery with the woman? Did the leaders walk right in the private home to catch them in an intimate act? Were there witnesses to the act? Apparently these same observations were required by the Law if one does not misrepresent the Law and the woman's circumstances as the leaders did to Jesus.
Throughout the story, Jesus did not engage the woman at all to inquire about her guilt or innocence. He was focused on the leaders and their desire to stone her without a fair trial. He held them accountable to their sin by asking if they were without sin. Knowing that according to the Law, they could not claim to be without sin, so they left the woman without satisfying of their intended purpose to stone her. With the leaders gone, the woman had Jesus’ full attention. Jesus assured her that he did not condemn her either. Without condemnation, she was freed from the past but more importantly she was free to change her future. Jesus gave the woman a do-over. We are not told how her life changed after this episode but what is important is that Jesus saw through her brokenness as a person of value and gave her a second chance.
Who has been Jesus or the La Vonne in your story? Are you like the woman who gets accused without a fair trial to defend yourself and are seeking a do-over? Or have you been the one to see others as valuable in spite of their brokenness? I am grateful to Jesus and my sister for looking beyond my brokenness to see a valuable person in need of a chance.