Naked and Unashamed
I am beyond shame now. No, I don’t care about myself anymore, what more do I have to loose? Here I am, naked and being dragged down the street. My body might be beautiful, but this isn’t a birthday suite competition. I lift up my head, willing to walk with dignity despite the taunting, the insults and the shoves. I have already been sentenced in their heads. I know what’s coming next, death, and I’ll take it with dignity.
What would I miss if I’m stoned to death? The feel of love? Or what i thought love was? They call it adultery. Tim, the man I love,or i thought i loved, he meant the world to me till a few minutes ago. He seduced me with his words... I used to think he was worth the shame of what we had. But I was wrong, because I don’t see him being dragged out with me. He’s wiggled his way out of this crime; he must have told them I seduced him, that he had no choice, he took my story and made it his, i am now the guilty one. I've come to realize that I am a victim of circumstances, it makes me more determined to walk with my head high.
So we’re off to the self-professed one, the one who I believe holds the highest stake in the self-righteous market. I don’t really care, I used to like him. I would watch from afar when he spoke to the crowd, thinking how nice he was. Well today he would be my judge, the one to pass my death sentence, put the cloak of formality on what the mob have already decided. For a split second I’m scared. I know that the regular law says I should be stoned to death, so I expect that. But this one who is so holy, with different views, what if he orders for something more horrible to be done to me? Like death on the cross? Fear of the unknown is worse than the fear of death itself. This thought sends a shiver down my spine. I’m cold, if only someone would give me a shawl to cover up… but no one is interested in my well-being. I refuse to use my hands to cover myself, just incase they see it as shame or remorse, I wouldn’t give them that satisfaction.
Finally we come to the place where he is. He's seated and ready to teach, theres a large crowd around him, and i am made to stand in full glare of everyone. "Teacher,this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” they ask him.
There's such a deafening hush as everyone waits to hear his response. Even my heart stops beating in that moment. All he does as we watch him is stoop and write with his fingers on the dirt, like a little child. I can't make out the shapes, I really don’t care about what he's writing, because I’m afraid, not of him, but of those around me. The hush has awaken me from a trance, in that moment I see the open hatred of all the hypocrites here eagerly waiting to stone me, in that moment, i'm just the little girl that i am who didn't know better.
There’s Francis holding a large stone, just 3 days ago he offered me a pouch of silver if I would spend the last hours before sunset with him, and next to him is Ananias, the one who’s sleeping with Miriam, his brother Jonahs wife…I saw her creep out of his house myself. I know one or two of their secrets, this keepers of the law of the holy book. They’re just lucky they haven’t been caught like me. But why is there so much hatred in their eyes for me?
There he is, Master as we call him, he’s still scribbling as my accusers wait for him to respond to their accusations. And then in the lowest of voices, that voice that I’ve heard him speak peace love and joy to multitudes, he speaks to everyone as he stares them in the face, like he knows what they’ve each done,things deeper than i claim to know, the stare is chilling and sad. I close my eyes,for the first time feeling the shame of my deed, the fear is gone, but the shame is overwhelming, the way he looked at me. I would have felt better if i saw condemnation in his eyes. I use my hands to give me a false sense of modesty, cos with him, the look he gives makes me feel shame and regret, not defiance. I close my eyes to block them all out. To block the sadness i see in his eyes out.
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” he says in almost a whisper but loud enough for everyone to hear clearly. Then he bends down again to continue his scribble on the dirt. I feel goosebumps, my eyes still tightly closed, waiting to feel the first sting. I’m not the brave woman who walked with dignity to her death any more. I’m ashamed, is this worth dying for? I wonder how it’ll feel, the first impact, will it hit my back first? Or my head? I hope it knocks me out cold, so I don’t feel the pain of the rest…..i wait and I wait, and I wait, wondering why they wouldn’t put me out of my misery,get it over with. Then I feel even before i hear the masters voice speak to me. He asked me “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”. I open my eyes and look around, its just me me and him. “No one, sir,” i reply, in shock.
I'm completely naked in every area with the one who's as pure as pure can be. Just me and him. My nakedness is embarrassing, it's not about my bare breast and all, that doesn't mean anything to him. Its about my heart and every little secret sin I’ve committed unveiled in his eyes. But he doesn’t look at me in disgust. He just smiles, and he's got this love in his eyes that covers my shame, that covers my nakedness, that tells me this isn't the end, its the beginning of a better life ….“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” Just like that, Forgiven and set free.
Bouts of laughter spill out of mouth, tears run down my cheeks as i turn around and run off, i hear him laugh at my excitement. The sound of his laughter tickles me and gets me laughing harder, i sneak a quick look back and see him using his feet to wipe off what he wrote in the dirt, and i allow myself a brief second to wonder about it, what did he write there?. Here comes mother and father, tears of joy in their eyes as they cover me up with a blanket. Truth is, I've been so covered with the love of the master i forgot i was naked to the world. I have been given a second chance, i wouldn't mess up this time.