November 27, 2017
Jesus straightened up and said, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” …. Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?” “No one, Master.” “Neither do I,” said Jesus. “Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.”
(John 8:7-11 MSG)
Praying for the Preyed Upon
There is a deep wound in our human experience. Hundreds were brutally murdered in a mosque in Egypt – but that’s a long way from home. The manifold media sources are filled with nonstop stories of sexual predation. The powerful accused in the sexual misconduct cases are also distant and easy to see as “not like me”. We don’t see the latter as dramatically destructive as the former.
But there is something rotten at the heart of who we are in all of this. Power used destructively, the objectification and misuse of people all combine to create a huge wound in our society.
The perpetrators need to receive justice and the victims must receive care. It also seems to me that we may share some sort of cultural guilt in creating a society in which this is so prevalent. All cultures have this as a deep sin, but we are doing something that encourages and exacerbates it.
It is too easy to angrily judge the perpetrators and not realize we have many of the same leanings inside us. Challenging and healing this wound will take more than throwing stones. A deep acceptance of our own need for healing and forgiveness may be a place to start – as we pray for the victims and the perpetrators.
A Prayer for Today
Loving Father, you are present in some way in all we meet. The flaws of others that offend us may be mirrors you use to show us our own weakness. Forgive us our own sins as we learn to care for the victims of injustice and care for the brokenness in the perpetrators. …. for Jesus’ sake