Many of us are familiar with the story of the woman caught in adultery, but have you ever wondered how it would unfold in today's society? Have you ever reflected on the similarities and differences between women then and women now when it comes to sexual transgressions?
I can vividly imagine this harrowing scene. A group of men burst into the house and catch her in the act, dragging her from the bedsheets and into the scorching streets. A crowd quickly gathers to witness the spectacle as the woman is exposed and humiliated. She's pushed and pulled violently through the throngs of people, who jeer, gossip, and hurl insults at her. The weight of shame is unbearable, and tears stream down her face. To her horror, she sees some in the crowd reaching down to gather rocks, including some who were once her friends and companions. She has no voice, no way out, and her fate seems sealed.
But then, Jesus intervenes. He saves her life and sends her accusers away.
The woman in the bible story sinned in secret. She knew being with a man in that way was forbidden and carried severe consequences, even death. In short, she was caught in the act, and an angry mob dragged her into the streets, demanding her stoning.
In today's society, young women are often encouraged to embrace their sexuality, to "taste different fruits" before settling down, and to believe that sex equals power. What was once considered sin, is now often portrayed as women's empowerment. However, when a modern woman finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she is still often subjected to harsh judgment, similar to the woman in the biblical story. Instead of calling for her death and stoning, today's mob calls for the destruction of her child. The very ones who encouraged her sexual exploration may now reject and abandon her when she needs their support the most.
Have you ever thought about how your work in the center parallels Jesus' work of redemptive grace in this story? There is much we can learn from how Jesus handled this situation and easily see where applies it to our client work. Look at these examples:
He saw her and made sure she knew she was seen. We can ensure that she feels valued as an individual by marketing directly to her and being available when she needs us.
He spoke up on her behalf. We can speak out for moms and babies everywhere by engaging and voting pro-life. In the consultation room we speak directly to her heart and demonstrate that we truly care for her in every interaction. We provide ultrasounds that allow science to speak the truth of the life growing inside her.
He rescued her from the consequences of her actions and sent her accusers away. We take her into a consultation room and provide a safe place for her to process complex emotions away from those who are pressuring and judging her.
He cared for her most pressing need - her freedom. We do not allow her to suffer. Instead, we provide counseling, encouragement, resources, and equip her to make better choices for her future.
He extended grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Then He spoke to her gently about her sins. After building a foundation of trust and showing unconditional love, we can plant seeds of hope and healing while acknowledging the need for forgiveness and repentance.
While the story of the woman caught in adultery may have taken place thousands of years ago, its themes and lessons are still relevant today. Women continue to face harsh judgment and shame for their sexual choices, and it is up to us to extend grace, mercy, and support to those who need it most. May we be a source of hope to clients just as Jesus was to the woman caught in adultery.