Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Loves "Steele Magnolias" and Loves a Variety of Characters

If I were to do a character sketch on the people in my family, there would not be a normal one in the bunch, and that is both sides of my family – my mom’s and my daddy’s. Some of you have heard stories from my daddy’s side of the family, and trust me when I say that is just a smidgeon of the stories coming from his side of the family tree. On my mom’s side, the characters may not be as wildly colored, but the characters are unique just the same. This holiday season, we open our homes to family, friends and friends of family…and sometimes perfect strangers.

Now, if you are a Southern woman, you know or have been trained how to welcome people into your home, how to make someone feel comfortable, and probably have mastered the art of small talk, but what happens when one of the most difficult people to deal with is one of your own family? Do you have anyone who continually makes poor decisions? Do you have anyone who is downright rebellious? Is there anyone in your family that people have just given up on? Isn’t it easy to judge someone else? How often do you make a snap judgment about someone you are passing? You see the way they are dressed. You see their size. You see their ethnicity. You see their possessions. You see ornamentation. And you make a snap decision about that person. HMMMMM. Too often the judgment comes out of the mouth. You know the quote by Clairee Belcher from Steele Magnolias, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then come sit by me.” Judgments about other people tend to spread quicker than the truth.

But let’s say that someone asks if they can bring a guest to your home for the holidays. Is that a problem? Typically, we have so much food that we are asking people to come and eat up until the day of the feast, so it’s not typically a problem. Let’s say they arrive, and the guest is a woman, a beautiful woman. She carries herself with her head held high. Her hair and make-up look like it is out of a Glamour magazine. She is the guest of another female friend of yours, and this unexpected guest is wearing the smallest of skirts, the tallest of heels, and the tightest of shirts. The smart, steel magnolia would sachet’ herself over to this guest to get the low-down, the dirt. As Truvy says on my favorite movie, “Oh get with it, Clairee. This is the eighties. If you can achieve puberty, you can achieve a past.” How would you treat this guest in your home?

There’s a woman in John 8 who was actually found in the act of adultery. Now to be presented as an adultress, there had to be preferably three people who caught her in the act. Could she possibly have been set up by the Pharisees? Absolutely, but we don’t know that for sure. All we know is the Pharisees brought this woman to Jesus. Can you imagine the humiliation, the shame, the embarrassment? All these MEN talking about her, what they saw her doing, and yet, where is the man? She couldn’t commit adultery aloneHELLO! The Pharisees had the dirt on this woman, and they were wanting to entrap Jesus.

While they were questioning Jesus, He stooped and drew on the ground. Not that it makes any great difference, but I sure would like to know what He was writing. If you are the Son of God, what would His doodling look like?

He stands up, and in verse 7 He says, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then Jesus returned to drawing on the ground…doodling. What if He was writing down their names in the dirt and listing their sins out beside their names! Those Pharisees were definitely schooled that day.

Verse ten says, “Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you’?” Jesus then tells her that He doesn’t condemn her either and to go live her life free from sin.

Think about the day that woman must have had. She was in the presence of her lover. She was caught in the most vulnerable of situations. More than one man caught her in the act and pulled her out to be judged while leaving her lover to escape without consequences. The shame, the fear (she could be stoned). As she is standing, clutching her clothes to her body in front of these men who are judging her and holding her future in their hands, she receives forgiveness and redemption from the true lover of her soul.

We don’t know what brought her to this point in her life. Just like you don’t know what has brought that woman guest to this point in her life that she is now in your home, your church, your party. Jesus extended grace. What will you extend?

1 comment:

Thank you for leaving your comments.