The heat acted as a kind of plug, quelling the tears in her eyes. Her mouth and nose were dry, but her eyes were their own rivers, threatening to crest at any moment. She did not want them to see her cry, but she knew this would be the last day of her life. It was not the pain of death that she feared, but rather the pain of disgrace. She would not have the chance to defend herself: her legacy would be adultery. The very utterance of the word made her sick to her stomach; although, that is the only name she had been called since she was a young girl. Most didn’t even bother to learn her real name. Adultery had become her identity. It seeped into her life slowly and was difficult to detect. By the time she realized it had consumed her, it was too late. She accepted it and welcomed it like a friend.
They brought her before the man she had been hearing about for many months. Throwing her down at his feet, she blended effortlessly with the dirt he trod upon. There was no way to distinguish where she ended and the dirt began; it was all the same. Strangely, she felt somewhat embarrassed in the presence of such a well-known man, even though she had convinced herself long ago he was a fake. Feeling unworthy to lie at his feet, she became aware that her garments were tattered and had no recognizable color.
She tried to keep her eyes low as the crowd gathered. They were keeping their distance, as if filthy sin was contagious. For the first time in her life, she was so thankful to have long, soiled hair that she could hide beneath, trying desperately, yet failing, to keep herself in a world where this was not happening. As hard as she tried, her eyesight caught glimpses of grimy hands reaching to the ground and ascending with stones. When his sandals came into her periphery, she reached out to touch his robe, desperate to experience the healing that the rumors had spoken of. He was her last chance.
She was mostly unaware of the activity around her. His voice was authoritative, but her mind was buzzing and she couldn’t make out what he was saying. He reached down to draw in the dirt, and she watched as his finger moved through the dust which was disturbed and then resettled on his sweaty knuckles. She became aware that the voices had ceased and silence permeated the circle of hate. The atmosphere had changed, though she did not know how. There was a sound she did not recognize and she was sure they had begun to throw the stones–this was it. As she squeezed her eyes shut the falling tears made a significant impact in the dust beneath them. She held her breath as the buzzing in her head reached its climax.
On the verge of breaking into a million pieces, she recoiled at his touch. He lifted her chin until her eyes locked into his. His eyes enveloped her shame and in its place, she felt only love. The eyes were a deep blue, reminding her of the well she used to retrieve water from as a little girl. She would make sure to arrive at the well when the sun was at its highest–the way its light reflected off the water below always brought a smile to her face, and she lived in a world where it was uncommon to smile. The diamonds that the sun formed inside the well wafted to and fro in harmony with the movement of the water below. As he gazed into her eyes, she felt like the diamonds, transformed by the light that shone into her soul.
“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” His voice was the perfect mixture of authority and compassion; it made her heart beat twice in the time it normally takes to beat once, leaving her short of breath.
She managed to utter, “No one, sir.”
“Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.” He took her hand and lifted her off the dirt, creating a void between her and it. She suddenly recognized the difference between herself and the dirt–it was unclean and she was no longer because of this man who called himself the Messiah.
My own interpretation of John 8:2-11.