She had longed for it sense she was just a little girl. Never had she known it. Never had she felt it. It wasn’t as though she hadn’t tried. She worked hard to achieve it, yet it never came.
“All I ever asked for was a son. Was that too much to ask for?”, she had over heard her father say when she was but six years old.
“I’ve tried. I don’t know why God has shut up my womb. I plead and beg for the favor of giving you a son. A namesake. Someone you will cherish and carry your name. Can I help but bring forth what God has placed in my womb?”, her mother cried.
“What good is a girl? I can not teach her my trade. Even if she marries well, it will not benefit us, but her husbands family. And we will have to pay them to take her!” Her Father hit the door with his hand. His strong body fell against it and he began to shake his head. “I’ve got to go. I’ve got to get out of here”, he said as he slammed the door behind him.
Her mother sank to the floor, her hands covering her face as her heart broke into a million pieces. “Why God, why? What sin have I committed to cause my husband such shame and disgrace? Why have I not found favor in your sight?”
She ran to her mother. “It’s okay Mother, I am here. I love you. I will not leave you.”
It seemed to work, she thought as a smile formed on her face. Her mother stopped crying.
“You”, her mother raised her face from her hands with hatred in her eyes. “It’s your fault. Your father despises me now. Any chance I had to make him love me, you have ruined.” Her mother grabbed her arms and began to shake her. “It’s your fault. I hate you. I wish you had never been born.”
She cried herself to sleep that night only to wake when her father stumbled in sometime before the dawn. She pulled her ragged doll close to her, “It’ll be alright, you just wait and see. Everything will be okay come morning”, she whispered in the darkness.
Yet, in spite of all she did and all she tried, nothing was ever the same. Her mother died a year later of a bitter and broken heart without ever telling her she was sorry and without telling her she was loved. Her Dad married her off to the first man who came with interest in her.
The marriage was filled with more misery. Although she cleaned, cooked, and gave him sons and daughters, her husband never loved her. There was nothing in his eyes that gave her the slightest inclination that he would ever love her.
That’s why she fell for him. This man who was not her husband. He smiled at her. Brought her flowers. Asked how she was. Asked what she was thinking. He made her feel wanted. He made her feel cherished. He made her feel loved. Yet, it was all a joke. A carefully planned scheme. He didn’t love her, he had only wanted to use her.
When they had entered into the house, she was filled with fear. What would they do? How would they get out of this? They grabbed her and pulled her from the bed. Why didn’t he say something? Why didn’t he defend her?
They were his friends. She knew them, knew them all, yet they treated her as filth. He got himself dressed and told the others he would meet with them later as they pulled her out the door.
She fought back, trying with all her might to get away from them. They laughed at her. The words they used to describe her were unbearable. She fell to the ground as her heart exploded within. Was this what it was like to die? She gasped for every breath. Her tears had become a waterfall of hot and burning pain.
Yanked to her feet she opened her eyes to see the faces of her town folk. She clinched them back together praying that she would go blind. That her mind would forever erase the look of disgust painted so fiercely on her neighbors. Never would they treat her the same. She was forever ruined in their eyes.
She twisted again, trying frantically to get free. She needed her hands, needed them to shelter her ears from the mocking and harassing voices.
“I knew she was no good”, she heard the voice of her once friend say.
“Her husband and children deserve better than this”, voiced one old woman.
“She must be dealt with severely”, said the leader of the pack.
“Stone her”, they began to chant as they walked behind her.
Suddenly they stopped moving and silence fell on her ears. She raised her head and opened her eyes to be struck by horrendous horror. Her blurred vision came into focus on the temple. God’s house! They were bringing her into God’s presence.
“No! No, please, not here. No! Anywhere but here!”, she said and with every bit of strength she had left she yanked herself free.
She tried to run, but she couldn’t get away. They had her surrounded. This was it. This is what her life had brought her to. Her mother had been right. She’d been better off never being born. Oh, that she could die right now, in this very spot.
No more did she fight. All hope was gone. The love that she had longed to feel would never find her now. Life was not worth living anymore. Maybe it would be over soon. Her tears stopped flowing as numbness over took her. Her body sagged, her head feel to her chest, “So this is what is like to die”, she thought.
His voice was thunderous, yet peaceful. Never had she heard a man speak with such authority. Was this the man who would forever condemn her? Would he be the one to order her death?
Flung inside the room, she heard the gasping of his students. He said not a word. She never opened her eyes, but she could feel him looking at her. Something strange was happening inside her. There was a feeling she had never felt before. She cracked her swollen eyelids just enough to get a glimpse of him.
“Who is this man?” she questioned within herself.
Her accusers began to tell her story. They demanded he do something. To their amazement, he did do something. He said not a word, but lowered himself to the ground and began to write on the cold temple floor.
Enraged, they called for him again to do something about this woman. Slowly he came to his feet. He looked at them all then said,
“The one of you who has never sinned, may cast the first stone at her.”
There was an eerie silence as he knelt back down to the ground again he began to write. “Maybe,” she thought with a smirk, “He is writing their sins on the ground to remind them of the men they truly are.”
THUMP! “It has begun”, she shivered and resigned herself to her fate.
THUMP! “It didn’t hit me. Neither this nor the first one has hit me.”
THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! Over and over she trembled as the sound echoed in her ears until there was nothing but silence left. Slowly, she turned her head. There was nothing, nothing but a pile of stones. Where were the men who had dragged her here? Where were her accusers?
She heard the rustling of his garment as he rose to his feet. Slowly she lifted her eyes to meet his. And there she saw it for the very first time. Love. Sweet, beautiful, life changing love. She had longed for it so long. She had prayed for it. Begged for it. Pleaded and bargained for it. And now, it was finally here.
Her heart began to beat again with hope only to be short lived as she looked at herself. What must he think? Here I stand wretched, naked and filthy before him. She lowered her head. She could not look at him any longer. There was no way, he could care for her. Not her, she was unlovable.
“Woman”, he called to her with such compassion. Dare she look up? Dare she meet his eyes again? Could she dare to think that maybe he was different.
She took a chance and opened her eyes to take in his once again. It was there. It was still there! The love and compassion was still there! Her heart began to beat wildly. How can it be? How can he look at me that way?
“Where are thine accusers?”, he asked tenderly, “is there no man left to condemn you?”
She looked around. Looked at the crowd, yet no one stepped forward. It was unbelievable. Where was the taunting and mocking? There was no laughing now. There was only peace. Peace like she had never known before.
Taking it all in, she mumbled softly, “No one is left.” A smile crept to her face as her heart filled with a new, exciting, yet somewhat strange feeling, “No one, my Lord”.
He took her by the hand and looked deep within her eyes. The look went further than her mind, further than her heart until he reached the depths of her soul. For the first time, she felt alive. She could breath and she wanted to live!
One by one she felt the chains of shame, guilt and fear break their hold of her. In their place happiness came, joy came, peace came, hope came. Could it be? Could it really be? Love?
His words came as a whisper, but with power and truth, “Neither do I condemn you. But go and sin no more.”
She left that day a changed woman. No more did she carry the weight of unlovable and unwanted. She was loved and wanted by Him, Jesus. She was not a mistake. She was accepted, cherished and loved. Each new day brought only more happiness as she continued to follow after Him. Through His love and kindness, she had learned how to love her husband and her children and in turn they loved her. Her home was a welcoming place to all who wanted to hear what a difference Jesus had made. Love had found her.
As God pours this story into my mind, my heart cries out for all those who feel unloved and unwanted. Over the years of working and being involved in Women’s Ministry I have sat with many who have cried their hearts out searching for love. My answer has remained the same. No one, not your parents, not your spouse, not even your children, can fill you with true love.
True and pure love only comes through Jesus Christ.
Only He can bring that to you.
His love is never failing, never ending.
“the Lord appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.“
~Jeremiah 31:3 ESV
His love knows no bounds.
“For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him
should not perish but have eternal life.
~John 3:16 ESV
His love for us makes us acceptable, cherished, and wanted.
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us,
that we should be called
children of God;
and so we are.”
~1 John 3:1
God is love.
But, it goes so much deeper than that.
Not only does God love you,
but He wants to love on you.
Will you let Him? Will you look into His eyes and see Him as who He is~LOVE? Will you let Him penetrate deeper than your mind, deeper than your heart, all the way down to your very soul? Will you accept His love and let Him love on you? Will you invite Him and His love into your life and give you a reason to live? Will you call Him Lord?
My dear friend, if you have never experienced His love for you, now is your chance. Just as the story above, which is based on John’s story of the Adulterous Woman in chapter 4, you to can feel loved for the very first time. You can find peace, joy, happiness and acceptance in Christ. He’s waiting, longing to love on you.
If you have experienced that love, then I invite you to leave a comment and share with others how Jesus changed your life.
Father, in all things I give You praise. I thank you from the depths of my soul for the night that I found You, the love of my live. You have broken the chains which held me bound, and given me a purpose. You have given me hope. You’ve given me peace and joy. My life is far greater than I ever imagined it would be, all because of Your grace, love and mercy. I pray I never get over what You have done for me. Thank You for accepting me. Thank You for loving me even when I was unlovable. In Jesus name, Amen.