Living Forgiven~Meeting His Gaze

They bring this woman to You; she has been caught in the act of adultery. The religious of Your day ask what is to be done with her. They know the law; they didn't need to ask You. It was just one more opportunity for them to trap You, or so they thought.
But You turned this evil opportunity into a moment of grace and mercy for the woman.
After the scribes and pharisees were gone, You told her You did not condemn her, and from that moment to go and sin no more.
She was no longer to think of her past, but from now on she was to live forgiven. She could feel Your loving gaze upon her, and in that moment she forgave herself and met Your loving gaze. She knew, having encountered You, her Lord, she could live forgiven.
I have been that woman. No, Lord, my sins may not have been the same as hers, but they were equally grievous. I remember what it was like to stand in the center and feel condemned, not so much by the world, but by me, myself. How could I be forgiven for all I had done? How could I forgive myself. Yes the stones were taken up and ready to be thrown, but they were in my hand. The stones of shame and guilt in my own hands poised and ready to kill what was left of me.
Like the woman, You found me~ beaten up by my own guilt and shame. Your voice pierced the shrieks of my doubt, my fear, my guilt and shame. And like the woman, there was no one to condemn me. No one that is except for me. I heard You tell me that You did not condemn me and that my sins were forgiven. You told me, just like You told her: From now on, go and sin no more." I knew in that moment that You, my Lord and God had forgiven me, and all I could think was that if You forgive me, who am I not to forgive myself. I could feel the warmth of Your gaze, and I no longer wanted to fight it. I looked into Your eyes, and knew that I could go and live forgiven. In that moment of grace, the stones fell from my hands.

*Reflection based on John 8:1~11

My Dear Lord Jesus,
In Your great love for me and in Your mercy, You have forgiven me. You invite me now to live forgiven. Your powerful and loving gaze holds me, compels me to keep my eyes on You always. Help me to never doubt Your love and mercy. Let me never pick up those stones of self~hatred, self~condemnation and shame ever again. May I live forever in Your love. Knowing this, may I go and sin no more.

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