Posted by: jcwillyams | March 22, 2010

Newsletter – A Finger in the Sand

There are things that you don’t know about me.  There are things that I keep to myself.  There are things that are concealed in the dark parts of my heart, hiding – away from the eyes of my peers.  But God sees them. God knows them.  And He loves me despite them.  I have seen some ugly things this year.  I have seen theft, lying, cheating, addiction, lust, violence, and more.  I have seen some of my own horrible nature brought to life in the bodies of those to whom I minister.  It isn’t pretty.  It’s terrifying.  How do you love someone whose eyes follow each movement the girls make?  How do you love someone who sells her body? How do you love someone who yells, cusses, and throws chairs?  How do you love someone who smells of alcohol, body odor, and vomit?  How do you love someone who stumbles with each step?  How do you love someone who sells drugs?  How do you love someone who has committed murder?  The question is easy for most people.  The question is hardly worth asking – the answer is obvious…you don’t.  You leave them to suffer.  You let them kill off one another.  You throw them in jail and let them rot.  You don’t invest yourself.  You don’t understand.  You don’t help them up – and you never love.

They grabbed her wrist and violently drug her along the ground.  They spit on her.  They yelled at her.  They cursed her.  With each step, the dirt of the road filled the air with a rolling cloud, full of dust and venomous threats.  She yelled in pain, sobbing at the certainty of her future.  And then she was thrown to the ground.

A steady finger softly brushed the soil beside her.  She watched as it traced a pattern in the path.  She was for a moment transfixed – the world forgotten.…  Her heart pounded against the hot earth and reawakened her to the sound of oily speech, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”

The voice was distant to her, a dream…or nightmare.  The finger in the dirt – that was reality – steady, calm, reassuring…she knew she could be scared, but she was transfixed by the pattern the hand wove-then it disappeared.

Reality rushed back and her mind instantly pelted her with hard stones – almost drowning out the voice she would never forget, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” She knew her accusers.  They were men of the Law.  They followed it to the letter.  She closed her eyes and found her life flashing through her mind.  She mourned at where she had ended up…and mourned that time was over.

Thump – Thump – Thump – Thump

The rocks fell, but not upon her.  She slowly opened her eyes and once again saw a steady finger tracing in the warm Israeli soil.  She looked up to a face haloed by the mid day sun, and tears rolled down her cheeks as the voice softly spoke, “Woman where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

The words fell from her tongue in disbelief, “No one, Lord.”

“Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

Christ demonstrates a different definition of love.  A love founded on forgiveness.  A love founded apart from judgment.  A love that extends beyond ourselves.  For Christ has not sinned.  He could have thrown the first stone.  Her sin could have been quenched by the stones of the earth – but Christ satisfied them for her. “Sin no more,” he commanded.  Can we stop sinning?  Probably not anytime soon.  But Christ has carried the burden for us.  He has taken the judgment away and paid the price.  Our sins are washed clean – and in the eyes of God we have sinned no more.  Hallelujah!

Daily I am reminded that I am not called to love someone worth less then me.  I am called to love someone that God loves – just the same.  Someone who God sees on the same scale of judgment.  Someone for whom Christ suffered and died.  I must realize that their sins have already been paid for – redeemed.  Christ has atoned for everything – they simply must accept his free grace.  I am not called to judge them; I am called to share Christ’s good news.  I am called to be so overwhelmed by the love Christ has given me that it overflows to those around me.  I often fall short of my calling.

It is easy to become short sided and self focused.  It is easy to get caught up in my wants and desires and to forget my purpose. It is easy – but not an excuse.  Every morning I read,

You are a missionary.

On a mission from the Lord.

Your purpose is to bring praise and glory to His name.

Your purpose is not your own.

You belong to Him.

You were bought with a price.

Today is not about you.

It is about Jesus Christ.

Boldly proclaim His name

Give Him what he is worth with your lips and your life.

And I strive to remember that it is not about my perceptions.  It is not about my wants and desires.  It is about fulfilling the will of God.  It is about serving Him – that is why I was created; for the times when I manage to quiet myself and forget my own wants, for the days that are about serving, for the moments in which God is placed first – these are the moments when the world seems a little more beautiful and the sun shines a little brighter.  These are the moments we can live in forever.  We simply must lean a little less on the world, and a little more on the Holy Spirit.

The mission continues at Jefferson Street.  Your prayers and encouragement are vital.  Send me letters and support – let me know you are with me.  It is hard to love someone who doesn’t know what love is.  It is hard to love someone who doesn’t want love.  It is hard to love someone and not receive love in return.  Give me your love, and please know, I love you all deeply, and I thank God for the support you provide me.  It doesn’t end with me.  It is a ripple effect that can continue infinitely…it just depends how large a stone you are willing to drop.

May the world seem a little more beautiful, may the sun shine a little brighter,

and may the Love of Christ extend a little further.

Peace be with you,

JC Williams

PS. Don’t worry – I do have accountability friends that I talk about stuff with…I’m not entirely secretive. :p

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