I watched a drama unfold yesterday that broke my heart.
Locally, a mother of 4 thought she dropped her youngest (5mo son) off at daycare. Only after she went to pick him back up, did she discover that she hadn’t dropped him off, but left him in the car. Her son died.
The news channels took to social media pages to keep everybody in the loop in real time updates.
These social media pages exploded as her community speculated, pointed fingers and condemned. Using their keyboards as virtual stones, they cast them.
“You who are without sin, cast the first stone…”
Most of us know that story. Most of us forget it.
Before all of the story came out and just snippets of details were provided, our community started calling for her death. Literally.
Person after person sounded the battle cry “she needs to die.”
I wrote a few words in one of the threads of support of prayer for a family that is obviously grieving. Very few echoed my sentiments.
Most were saying…
“I would NEVER…”
“How could you POSSIBLY…”
“I have “x” children of my own and I could NEVER…”
Yes, it crossed my mind that I have at least (at any given time) 6 children in my care and I can’t fathom forgetting one, but to say “NEVER” and to judge her by my own actions?
Daily we encounter any number of unforeseen circumstances that endanger our well being and our lives. Some preventable, some unfathomable.
A fall from a tree. A kidnapping. A car accident. A freak accident.
By a miracle of grace we haven’t endured any of those.
But there is that “thing” from my past. The suicide of my husband. I experienced my own stone throwing and it taught me well.
Many speculated on the reasons and even some called for my death. I have never forgotten what my community said.
Casting the first stone…in that story it is never said that Jesus didn’t acknowledge the woman’s sin. It’s never said that He excused her of that sin. It is said that He told that crowd that if there was one who hadn’t screwed up before, let him be the first to condemn her and throw the stone. When the crowd had cleared without throwing any stones, He asked the woman if anyone had condemned her. When she replied “No one,” he said then neither do I. He forgave her and told her basically not to do it again.
Here is the thing that rings in my heart when looking at this mother in the news story. By NOT throwing a stone at her, I’m not saying that what she did was right, excusable or worthy of earthly justice. By NOT throwing the stone, I am saying that I am a sinner as well. I’ve made mistakes and I (because I am human) will make more. I honestly believe that this woman did not murder her child (murder has to do with intent) and that the burden of her actions will be with her for her life.
This woman and her family will spend the rest of her life stoning themselves. The last we heard, she had been taken to a local hospital “distraught” and her husband was with her.
I’ve dropped my stone. I pray that if the all facts point to her innocence of intent, that we gather as a community with no stones. I pray that she is surrounded by those who will comfort her family and love her. I pray that she never sees the stone throwing that her community did.
…and frankly…I pray that this woman continues to find a reason to live.
Categories: August Diary Entry