Come and See Freedom

2019.05.05_ Come and See Freedom_Megan Sinisi.jpg

Anyone who knows me well, knows that my favorite movie of all time is Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  It was my favorite movie before it was cool.  There is quote, towards the end of the movie, that resonated with me, and still does every time I watch it:

“You call yourself a free spirit, a ‘wild’ thing, and you’re terrified somebody’s gonna stick you in a cage.  Well baby, you’re already in that cage.  You built it yourself…It’s wherever you go.  Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.”

I think this quote resonates with me so much because I relate to Holly’s story.  There were so many things out of her control that she saw, experienced, and internalized in the form of her beliefs about life and herself.  Those things influenced the choices she made that led her into a life that did nothing but create bondage and chaos.  I have been known to cause havoc on my life because of my choices, beliefs I had about others and myself, things that have been passed down to me through my family, things done to me, and interacting with people that are broken just like me.

In the book of John, we meet a woman.  No one knows her name.  But from the bits of information we do know about her, I’d guess she’d probably relate to Holly Golightly as well.  Let’s take a look:

“Early in the morning, He [Jesus] came again in the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them.  The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act.  Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?”  (John 8:2-5, NASB)

Can you imagine the fear she must have had?  She thought she was doing something in secret. Something that no one would find out about.  One can assume that if she was willing to engage in an activity, that if caught the penalty was death, that she was hurting inside her soul.  She may have been in need of connection (even if just for a few moments), to feel loved and accepted, to feel as though she was worthy of being loved and cherished.  Yet, she was caught in the act and everything was brought into the light for all to see in a very real and humiliating way.  She had no defense.  All the things that she may have been searching for in those moments were now replaced with fear, shame, guilt, anger, sadness, and embarrassment.  

It may have not been the act of adultery, but I have been there with things in my life.  When those things that I think are done in secret, that no one will find out about, are brought into the light, I tend to cower under the weight of it all.  I hear the voice of the enemy of my soul condemning me for what I am doing, what have done, and what I could do.  The scribes and Pharisees are relentless in their condemnation; but not because they are concerned with upholding the Law.  If that were the case, they would have brought the man out to be stoned as well (Leviticus 12).  They were using her and the situation she was in to attempt to set Jesus up.

“They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground.  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." Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.  When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.” (John 8:6-9 NASB)

Oh the confusion she must have felt in that moment.  What was happening?  She thought she was about to die a painful and humiliating death. Was this just a part of the cruel experience—to draw it out?  Using some sanctified imagination, she is silent.  It could be her shame and guilt that prevented her from lifting her head up. There is hush that comes over the crowd.  Maybe some grumpy mumbling under the breath of those condemning her and using her as a pawn for alliterative motives.  That first sound of a stone hitting the ground with a “thud,” caused her to jump given her mental and emotional state.  The dust fills the air from stones being dropped from the hands of the accusers and them walking away in a combination of complete frustration, awe, and conviction about what Jesus said.  One by one, they leave, until it is just her and Jesus. 

Straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?". She said, "No one, Lord." (John 8:10-11a, NASB)

It is a powerful revelation that Jesus was stooped down on the ground through out the encounter.  I don’t know but I imagine her cowering or laying on the ground, overcome with emotion during these moments.  Jesus stooping down is a beautiful picture that reminds me He is Immanuel, God with Us.  He comes down to our level and meets us right in the midst of our mess, in the bondage of our cage.  And offers each of us something only He can: freedom from the cage.  Freedom creates the space where there are no accusers and no stones.  Just me and Jesus. 

“And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more." (John 8:11b, NASB)

She was left with the One who had not sinned, who could have condemned her, and based on His comment, had the authority to stone her.  But He didn’t.  Jesus met her in the prison she was in.  He stooped down, looked her in the eyes, and saw her when no one else really did.  She was able to Come and See how Jesus offers us love and therefore freedom. 

The freedom comes from the realization of truth.  This woman and Jesus knew she broke the Law.  But Jesus knew her and knew her story.  But rather than sentencing her as the Law stated, He gave her life and told her to go and sin no more.  Freedom comes when we receive the life that Jesus has for us and we leave the life of bondage and sin behind us.      

Are you stuck in a cage?  Do you keep running into yourself, no matter where you go or what you do?  I think we’ve all been there in our lives.  Yet Jesus stoops down, gets rid of the condemnation (Romans 8:1), and invites us to take His hand towards love and freedom. 

Have you taken His hand Beloved? Are you ready to Come and See freedom?

 


Megan Sinisi is one of our Refres{her} bloggers. She describes herself as a 30-something year old lady who is still figuring out who the heck she is and sometimes worries she is just crazy. Megan is a most of the time stay at home mom of 3 precious little “tyrants” whom she loves more than her own breathe and wife to an amazing husband. She absolutely adores a good cup of coffee, chocolate and peanut butter combinations, coloring, being crafty, figuring out homeschooling her children, being silly and laughing with her husband, and chatting with friends about embarrassing moments and deep things at the same time. She has a love and fervor for writing and is walking in faith that God is calling her to use the passion and the gift He has given her. She hopes that her journey encourages, challenges, inspires, comforts, and most importantly, shines the light of Jesus and the reality of His love, grace, and mercy. More writings can be found on Megan's blog at: https://myrenderingheart.wordpress.com/