Daily Reflection
March 14th, 2005

Joan Blandin Howard

University College
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Deuteronomy 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 or Dn 13:41c-62
Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
John 8:1-11

The Adulterous Woman – who was she?

I am much like her
And she is much like me.

I know the empty shame of my own wrong-doings
And the belittling of the self righteous.

I have felt my body stiffen with indignation deflate with shame
Expand with energy, enthusiasm and excitement.

My able arms have tenderly cradled the newborn,
comforted the child and supported the dying.
My rough cracked hands have tilled the soil, planted the seeds and harvested the garden.
Joyfully, I have dressed the virgin bride for marriage and
Reverently wrapped the withered body for burial.
Routinely, I sweep the floors, cook the meals, welcome the guest, the stranger and the hungry.
And they see only what they will.

Youthful legs have skipped me through flowered fields and down dusty by-ways to love’s calling, youths dancing delight.
Calloused feet have carried me heavy with child.
Scurrying home late at night weary from the day
Cautious of the night’s dark demands – I fear for what may happen.
And they see only what they will.

My hopeful heart beats to the rhythm of the children’s song.
Falters with the dying’s gasp
My heart is strong – yet scorned, teased and disserted.
And they see only what they will

I have heard the hateful whispers – silent now.
Have whispered some myself.
And they see only what they will

The kind and gentle stranger approaches, “Woman where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, Sir.”
“Neither do I condemn you.”

In these holy days of Lent I am reminded to listen not to the hateful whispers in and around me, but to the healing, loving words of Jesus, “Neither do I condemn you” – a reminder that I am in God’s love.

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