The time was 6:30pm, the kids had just returned from school. I knew that immediately they arrived, they would be very hungry. Fortunately, I had made some unleavened bread and kept it fresh just in time for their arrival. The kids were totally tired of this meal, but that was all i had. We barely had enough money to feed well. Anyway, I always told them, this bread tastes like the manna God gave our forefathers in the wilderness. Somehow, that was enough to convince them. I wish things were better, I wish my husband had a better job instead of sitting at the gate of the temple watching people as they came in. I loved my husband, but these days he was barely at home.
“Your father is doing the work of the Lord”, became my favourite mantra any time the kids asked about Him.
Some days he didn’t even come home. I actually got tired of it. I was still a young woman in my early 30’s, still getting heads turned at/by the way I moved around the streets of Jerusalem. My bed was empty, my body craving. I thought i knew what my body yearned for. I tried to justify my reasons for the craving thoughts flying around my head, even though down in my heart I knew this was wrong. I mean, God gave Moses the Ten commandments and one of them was “Thou shall not commit adultery”. But God has to understand, I thought, I am deprived.
I had met Barak a few weeks back. He was tall, looked easy on the eye and was very funny. He had come to fix the doors at the house and made me laugh so much. I could not remember the last time I laughed so hard.
Few weeks after we met we began having sexual relations frequently. After the first time I felt so bad. I thought about my husband, my kids, but I justified my actions by playing the victim of neglect and emotional need. At least Barak could quench my craving thirst after a long time of being starved by my husband.
The subsequent times were easier and enjoyable. I felt like I had mastered an art. The feelings of regret was subdued, these were really happy times, adventurous would be a more accurate word.
Barak and I had planned to spend the night together. I had planned to send the kids to my cousins place to spend the night, of course I had lied to my cousin about my whereabouts that night. I couldn’t let anyone know about my escapades or that could cost me my life.
Damaris was the most recent casualty that comes to mind, she was stoned to death in the city square and her body left to rot. Some even say the stoning started from the room in which she was caught.
I was different, at least I thought so. I couldn’t be caught, I was too careful. I walked around the street a couple of times to shake off anyone interested in following me. I had learnt this skill from the war stories we read about Deborah, the female judge of Israel. Once, she and two of her servants had to walk, run, hide trying to loose some canaanites following them. Eventually, they double crossed them and killed them.
Finally I was with Barak…my troubles were dispelled. I was in the place I wanted to be all day. We embraced as I entered into his little house south of Jerusalem.
The time was past seven in the morning. The fact that i knew my husband wasn’t returning till later in the evening gave me the comfort i needed. What a night this had been. Barak was up already. It was noisy outside, a large crowd trooped towards the Mountain of Olives. Jesus was teaching there. The man we didn’t understand, the man who wanted to ruin our jewish customs and practices. I had listened to him once, when he performed a miracle of multiplying bread and fish. We had nothing to eat that day, and we were thankful to God for that miracle. If He performed that miracle more, maybe I would listen to Him more. I had proceeded to wear my clothes when Barak told me to stay a little while longer. He pleaded that we have sex one more time before I left for home, I obliged…
The doors opened abruptly, Barak jumped off me as we tried to cover ourselves quickly. The Pharisees had found us.
I was dragged off the bed half naked and dragged on to the street. I begged for my life, I knew what the next action was, stoning. I thought about my kids, I knew I had disappointed them. I turned back to see that Barak wasn’t being dragged, I couldn’t even see him, maybe he was being stoned already.
I was dragged to Mountain Olive where Jesus was. Simeon, who was the spokesman for the council of the pharisees spoke up: “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery, and the Law of Moses commands we stone such women, so what do you say, should we stone her or not?”
I knew the answer to this question, my mind was already fixed on dying. I wished I wouldn’t go through the pain of the stoning. I tried to lift my head up and saw the faces of people looking at me with disgust, some spitting on the ground, others; both old, and very young men holding stones. I looked to the far right and my eyes met that of my husband and my cousin with my children in their bosom. I don’t know how they got there so quick. I broke down inside, my eyes with dried tears as a result of the windy mountain immediately opened its fountains again. I looked over to Jesus and I saw that he was bent down and writing. I wiped my tears so I could see what he was writing, but I couldn’t, I was too far off.
He then lifted up his face and said the most shocking words I have ever heard. “Anyone that is without sin should first throw the stone”.
How could he say that? I wanted to scream, “stone me, stone me”. Then I heard the Pharisee closest to me drop his stone, and then I heard more stones drop and more drop and then they started to disperse.
I was in the shock of my life. I had just committed the most abominable act and I wasn’t getting stoned. The mountain was almost empty by now, just a few faithfuls, my husband and kids and some other random people. No stoners hanging around.
I didn’t know what to do. Jesus got up, walked up to me and asked, where are the people that condemned you, He said this with a smile on his face. I look around one more time and shook my head as If to say, I can’t find them, He smiled and said, “I also do not condemn you, go and sin no more”. I broke down in tears, my husband and children ran to me and hugged me. We all cried and we kissed each other….