I grew up in East Tennessee.
A little town on the outskirts of Knoxville. My sister, my mom and me. My grandmother lived next door. Mom and Dad had divorced. Papaw died when I was three.
Four females. In the back roads of Tennessee.
One night I woke to my mother standing beside my bedroom window. Looking through white shears. The house was dark.
She held Papaw’s pistol.
“Mama, what are…”
There was one street light on our dead end street. Allowing a faint glow on our asphalt driveway.
I heard a heavy car door slam.
Sneaking in our driveway in the middle of the night. Stealing from our woodpile.
I remember thinking, “I bet mom is so mad they are stealing our wood.”
Now, I know.
She wasn’t protecting our woodpile.
She was protecting her babies.
Mom was a big lady. Strong. Tall. Beautiful.
But deep in the lines of her smile, there was fear. The weight of protecting two little girls.
I’m guessing she felt very exposed in a world of violence, rape, theft and murder.
Always on alert.
I wonder if she ever felt at ease.
Now that I am married, one of the sweetest luxuries is feeling protected.
If I hear a bump in the night, I wake Brent. If I feel uneasy, he goes in. Ready. On alert.
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in the act of adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say.” John 8:3-6.
This adulteress woman. Exposed.
No one to protect her.
Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. John 8:7
Writing on the ground? I am going to ask him about this one day.
But whatever he wrote, the men started to file out. One by one. Leaving the woman to Jesus.
Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:10,11
She was bare, and possibly physically naked.
But He covered her.
The Word of God made flesh defended this adulteress.
When Jesus spoke to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
Light: (phōs) The light by which true life is gained. That which is exposed to the view of all, openly, publicly.
This woman was exposed publicly to the view of all. And there gained true life.
God stands at our bedroom window. Looking through the shears. Waiting and watching. Ready to defend. Always on alert.
We can rest in this.
Go back to sleep, weary soul.
This makes me swoon over my God today. In Christ alone, I experience 100% protection.
No one else can offer this.
Not my mother. Or Papaw’s pistol.
Not even Brent.
God is my refuge.
He is my Shield. My Protection.
He defended me on the Cross.
And he defends me still.
We can experience rest today.
Guarded by the Most High.