But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7
A friend’s daughter ran away from home a few nights ago. She is 16 and a friend of hers picked her up about midnight. Eventually her stepdad found out where she was and brought her home.
That was when she apparently told him she was gay. The girl who had picked her up was the one she was enamored with.
I’ve known this girl since she was about 11. And I remember thinking when I met her that she seemed a little different from other girls her age. Since then, she’s become like another daughter to me. I’ve continued to see the differences, but have prayed for her, that she might “stay between the lines,” so to speak.
When I found out the news, it was a somber day. As I heard the story, everything surrounding it was devastation. That’s how we know it’s sin. This girl and her family are Mormon, and her parents are reeling. Her best friend for years–not the same girl who picked her up–was in shock and didn’t know how to handle it–or her. I don’t know what’s happening with the other girl and her family…or if they’re even aware of the clandestine meeting.
That’s how we know it’s sin, when its results are devastation. Everything bears fruit, both righteousness and sin. Righteousness produces life and joy. Sin produces devastation and destruction. The militant gays can say what they will about how it’s simply an alternative lifestyle, but it is sin, pure and simple.
I have been pretty militantly anti-gay most of my life. It’s easy to be, when you aren’t up, close and personal with someone who is struggling with it. But when it hits close to home with someone you love, the militancy crumbles. When I heard the news, all I wanted to do was wrap that girl in my arms.
I know she doesn’t want to hurt her parents or others around her. I haven’t talked to her since this happened because her parents are keeping a close eye on her, but I’m quite sure her mind is full of confusion, darkness and struggle. This is what Jesus sees when He looks at her. And still He loves her.
It reminds me of the time when I was in a trendy clothing store with my daughters. I was standing in line to check out with clothes in my arms, when one of the clerks at the counter caught my attention. It took me a moment or two to realize that although the person looked and sounded like a woman at first, it was actually a young man. He was dressed like a woman, and had short, bleach-blond hair in a trendy style, and his voice had all the affectations of a woman.
As I began to judge him without even realizing it, a voice sounded in my head so clearly and distinctly, I knew without a doubt that it was the Lord’s. “I love him!” He said emphatically. Immediately, I felt shame for my thoughts, but then, I began to marvel. Jesus loves everyone, everyone, regardless of how they look, dress, speak or act. He isn’t militantly anti-gay, any more than He was militantly anti-prostitute when He met Mary Magdalene. The first time He laid eyes on her, the same words reverberated through His mind: “I love you!”
This is not to say that homosexuality isn’t a sin. It is. God is crystal clear on that. (Leviticus 18:22) But Jesus came to save the lost and the sinners. And instead of meeting head-to-head and toe-to-toe with today’s militant gays, let’s take our cue from Jesus, and embrace them with compassion. Let’s pray for their deliverance. Because whether it’s evident or not, they are living in the midst of their own kind of devastation.
Militancy has, among its definitions, the words “confrontational and aggressive.” Yet Jesus, when He dealt with the adulterous woman, took the exact opposite approach. He stooped down and wrote on the ground. And then He uttered a simple statement that still resounds through the ages: “He who is without sin among you; let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” We don’t know how many people stood there accusing and condemning her, but each one dropped their stones and walked away.
Jesus’ very posture was lower and more humble than all of those who stood staunchly accusing her. We don’t know what He wrote; perhaps it was a Bible verse. Or her name. Perhaps a list of their sins. Or maybe it was a prayer. But when He straightened up, He spoke with a quiet voice of power and conviction.
Militancy is weak against the power of Jesus’ love and compassion. Nothing will prevail against it. Let’s all drop our stones and stoop down…down onto our knees.