When I see the human face behind a political issue, the emotions of apathy, indignation or anger become less. Then empathy (understanding their suffering), sorrow (grieving with them), remorse (that collectively, the humans in my country did this to other humans) – these emotions become stronger. Finally, there is hope – these people have courage, and see a better future. They want to fight injustice, and fight for the rights of those who follow. I hope, at the end of my life, I can say that I partnered with these guys, not the powers that locked them up and stole their childhood.
“All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.
I used to notice 3 groups here: the accusers, the accused, the defender. I had a hard time imagining which group I would realistically fall into.
I’m not often confronted and threatened for my errors, I’m not the sort to condemn others for theirs either. Yet I usually lack the courage to defend the accused and stand up to the crowd, so I can’t honestly group myself with Jesus in this story.
I guess I fit with the group I never noticed before today: the onlookers. The crowd, drawn into the drama, not sure of what they think, but afraid to speak up, lest they say something wrong and find themselves the new target of the accusers.