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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Embarrassment (01/12/12)

TITLE: CAUGHT!
By Terry R A Eissfeldt
01/18/12
~1st Place


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Thrown to the ground by angry men is nothing new to me. But yanked out of my own bed, dragged through the center of town, and hurled in front of one spoken so highly of, is.

Shame left a scent trail throughout the course of my life. Humiliation, misery, and distress the hounds that chased me from childhood on. They finally have me cornered. Dust and disgust surround me.

“Caught in the very act....The Law demands...Here are enough stones...”

Each announcement, raised by agitated anxious men, undresses me rip by rip. The sparse cloak barely covering my humanity evaporates until nothing is left between my nakedness and the harsh sun.

Hot tears seep from my dull eyes. Fatalistic finality overtakes me overshadowing even the disgrace and indignity that is my meager life. Closing my eyes and clutching the dirt I wait for the first blow.

The man everyone is talking about is close to me. I hear his even breathing, I sense his presence. He bends down and runs his fingers through the dust like a child at play. Suddenly the sea of angry accusations ceases. All grow still and silent. Even the usual morning breeze is markedly absent. I keep my eyes firmly shut as I sense him stand.

“If anyone here has not sinned, please, go ahead and toss the first stone.”
His voice is calm, steady, fatherly.

No one moves. No one speaks. I hear a rustle of cloth as the Teacher once more bends down and continues scribbling in the dust. The only other sound is feet sheepishly shuffling away.

Dare I open my eyes? Of all the men in the city the Teacher is the last one I wish to be naked in front of. Despite all the things I’ve done, despite the hardness and brazen acts, I feel my face flush crimson. I squeeze my eyes harder as I roll up into a ball trying desperately to hide my shame. I will him away franticly with my mind.

A breeze sweeps over my body as a mantle gently covers me. The soft fibers brush against my hideous skin. My first instinct is to throw it off. I, of all people, dare not wear such pure refined linen. But the weariness of my heart and soul seep into my physical being. I cannot move. I can’t even open my eyes. Sobs escape my lips as I raise my hands to cover my hot face.

“Woman”

His voice is like a gentle life giving brook. He can’t be directing such a greeting to me. I’m used to being called dog and whore.

“Where are they? Is there any man convicting you?”

I stop breathing. I strain my ears to listen; to be my eyes. No other being is present. I’m alone with the Teacher. I chance a deep breath. I gamble on opening my eyes. My filthy hands are still covering them yet sunshine bleeds through my flesh. Slowly, tentatively, I separate my fingers. Glancing at my surroundings it’s like looking through the bars of a prison door.

I see dust, silent buildings, and the Teacher. I let my hands drop slowly as if the weight of the world pulls them down. Instinctively I clutch the mantle wrapping it around me.

The Teacher reaches out a hand helping me to unsteady feet. I look around again searching for any hidden ambush. Nothing stirs. It’s as if the world has stood still waiting for my reply.

“No man, sir.” I scanned his face for mockery. Surely there is punishment coming. If not from the crowd then from him. But I see only undeserved compassion in his deep brown eyes.

“Neither do I.” Each word is spoken unhurriedly and clearly, like a father to his young child. “Go now and live your life free from sin.”

Try as I might I find no sarcasm, no cruel joke, no double cross. Only kindness.

I turn from his eye and wrap the white linen sheet closer. As I take the first step toward home I take the first step free from shame.

Accept Jesus as Your Savior Right Now and be Certain of Eternal Life.

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Member Comments
Member Date
CD Swanson 01/19/12
Nice job with scriptural reference of Jesus and the woman caught in "adultery." God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/19/12
You did an outstanding job of bringing this Bible story to life. I could feel the pain and agony.
marcella franseen 01/19/12
There is no weight of shame the Savior cannot lift! Loved this story and how you brought it to life!
harvestgal Ndaguba01/19/12
Wow, I loved how you took this Biblical story and brought it to life. We can really imagine how she felt. Thanks. Awesome writing.
Hiram Claudio01/20/12
This was beautiful! I loved the fresh take of this woman's perspective and how the presence of the Lord restored her to a place of dignity and decency. This was so well written. Nicely done!
Linda Goergen01/22/12
Beautifully written reminder that Jesus took our sin and our shame. Well done!
Donna Edgar01/22/12
I can almost smell the dust rise up into my nostrils as the woman in your entry is tossed to the ground. Good job! I enjoyed this.
Noel Mitaxa 01/22/12
This is pow-wow!erful material. You hooked me in at the beginning and didn't let go for an instant. Your imagery and emotions are so strongly portrayed without ever becoming salacious. I hope this rates as well as it deserves to. I would love your permission to use this account the next time I lead our fellowship in communion, for we all come to the table - fully exposed before him in all our sin, whether it's obvious to others or hidden from them.
Helen Curtis01/23/12
This is possibly the best retelling of this bible story I've ever heard. You brought this woman's reality into my world, and I connected her shame and condemnation to my own life; my failings are great, but indeed the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ are greater! And there is no condemnation in Him, only conviction and the call to 'sin no more.' Excellent writing.
Margaret Kearley 01/23/12
I so agree with all that has already been said and would just like to add, that this touched me very deeply. The compassion, mercy and forgiveness of Christ, - the deep shame and sin of the woman, are very wonderfullky described, Praise God for such a Saviour. Thank you for this beautiful account.
Colin Swann01/23/12
Beautiful story of our beautiful Saviour and his forgiveness toward us.

Thanks for sharing this lovely adaption of the well known Bible account.
Leola Ogle 01/23/12
Such a wonderful depiction of the grace and mercy of our Lord, and an excellent job of bringing this biblical story to life. It made me fall in love with Jesus all over again! God bless!
Rachel Phelps01/23/12
This is an excellent idea for this topic, and very well executed. The POV is effective and the message powerful. The only red ink I would give would be to watch the descriptive language. There were a (very) few sentences where my eye tripped over some of the phrases. Overall, truly excellent work.
Hiram Claudio01/26/12
Congratulations on your well deserved 1st place ribbon!
annie keys01/26/12
WELL DONE! Congratulations!
Leola Ogle 01/26/12
Congratulations Terry! Woohoo!
Melinda Melton 01/26/12
Congratulations! I loved this piece. I could feel every emotion. Well done.
Judy Sauer 01/26/12
Terry, CAUGHT! is extremely engaging and well written. Congratulations on a well earned 1st place ribbon.
CD Swanson 01/26/12
Congrats on your win!
God Bless~
Toni Babcock 01/26/12
All I can say is WOW!!!!!!!! Love this!!
annie keys02/01/12
Well done! Excellent job, congratulations on Editor's choice!
Ekua Bartlett-Mingle02/02/12
Wow! A powerful piece. Congrats!
Irene Patterson 04/18/12
Tenderly written; it gripped my heart.