Standing In His Presence!

I have not been able to spend time on my blog as of late.  So many things I have had to take care of.  They kept me on my knees and focused on taking care of business. Life changing things.  I am never used to change. As you can tell by my last entry.  But I have trusted God with these things and as always He has shown His hand.  One prayer He answered within several days. As heartbreaking as the answer was I was grateful for it.  I had to let go of something that God had given me in the first place.  The Lord gave me a scripture during bible study this week that helped me see that when He gives us something, He has the right to take it away. After all, Job lost, He still praised God.

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised.”

In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

Job 1:20-22

Another event took place, that for four years has been put on the back burner of my life.  I may speak to this later in another post, but for now, it was the closing of one door and the opening of another.  It too was a heartbreaking moment.  Before I drag everyone down thinking that I am depressed, I want to make very clear that God is still on the throne of my heart.  He rules and reigns with compassion and love for my soul.  He is tender and sweet in the way He handles my life.  Admittedly, there have been times of great disappointment in His choices for my paths but that came only from a selfish, discontented heart.  I know without a doubt that He walks with me everywhere.  Never leaving, sometimes silent but never turning His back.

About a week ago I was crying out to Him for direction to several major decisions I had to make and all I could do was pray.  One particular evening I felt the need to write but not about me.  I wanted to write about Him.

And so I did….
Her body hurt everywhere.  Her arms, from being grabbed. Her torso, dragged and thrown to the ground.  Her knees felt like there were a thousand of pieces of glass was embedded in the skin.  The perspiration on her body mingled with the dust whipping up off the ground.  She could taste the grit between her teeth.  Her heart was beating wildly with fear, dread, and despair.  It seemed that time was standing still.  She replayed the events within her mind leading up to this moment.  The noise around her was deafening.  The male voices accusing her and wanting her to pay with her very life.  She slowly moved her eyes to the sandaled feet in front of her but she dares not raise her head.  The heaviness of her her shame and embarrassment kept it down.

She suddenly saw movement before her.  Steadily and with purpose the figure lowered himself to the ground and began drawing with his finger in the dirt. Not minding what the men were asking of him. What was he doing?  Why was this taking so long?  She held her breath waiting for the blows.  Any moment she would lose her life.  It didn’t matter anyway, her life was worthless.  She had been living a life that she herself could not accept.  But it was all she knew.  She had no other way to survive.  What was the point, there was nothing left for her to go back to anyway.  

Silence interrupted her thoughts. All of a sudden she realized that the men had stopped yelling.  There was no sound but the cool morning breeze.  Then the stooped man rose facing the men and started to speak.  She heard the words but they did not register at first. “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”  What was this man saying?  Why was he saying such a thing? Could it be that he was rescuing her?  So many thoughts coursed through her mind. This was not possible. She did not deserve to be saved. He then stooped down and wrote on the ground again.

After a few seconds, she heard a sound.  There it was again.  It sounded like thuds.  Something heavy dropping to the ground. She could tell it was more than one and they came successively.  Then she sensed movement behind her.  The men were walking away, one by one, until there were none.  She trembled as she stood but still could not bring herself to look at the man. He himself stood up and then looked at her. He spoke gently and quietly. “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

It must have been the tone of his voice that made her look up.  It was not accusatory, it was not condemning.  It was a kindness.  She knew she was a sinner but here was a man who was not looking at her with disgust nor was he speaking to her with disdain.  She had never experienced this before.  Suddenly she felt a peace come over her for the first time in her life.  She knew that this man was different from any she had ever met.  She peered into his eyes and saw compassion and something else.  What was it?  She answered him, “No man, Lord.” And then he said something that changed her life forever. 

“Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”

She realized at that moment what it was that she saw.  It was mercy.


Written by: Michelle M. Padilla -March 2008