To satiate my desire to live in an old house I have been watching home improvement shows that focus on restoring old houses to their former glory. The hosts match doors, hardware, light fixtures, and so on to the home, whether it is from the 1700’s or the 1800’s, each missing piece is found and reconnected to the home. It’s a labor-intensive task, but the end result is always awe-inspiring.
I think part of the reason I love these shows so much is because they focus on houses from the same period as the Victorians I lived in as a child and visited when I saw my grandparents. There is a richness in the home and the history. I realized though, at the very core, I was drawn to the idea that something broken, neglected, and discarded could be cleaned, repaired, and brought to shine again and have love inside it.
Jesus does the same thing with us. The world says we are worthless, damaged-goods, broken, not worth the time, the effort, the love to try to be a part of their lives. It’s a sad reality that our “toss-away” mentality that was once applied to stuff is now applied to people.
In John 8 Jesus is teaching in the temple courts when the Pharisees come in dragging a woman who is barely dressed, barely keeping herself on her own two feet. I imagine the Pharisees fling her at Jesus’ feet, seething in self-righteous anger, demanding that Jesus pass judgment on this woman caught in adultery. But Jesus doesn’t speak, instead He remains silent. Finally speaking to the crowd, He refers to the Mosaic law which states women caught in adultery must be stoned. He quietly says, “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” (John 8:7). I love the response of the crowd. One by one the stones fall to the ground and the oldest first, then finally the youngest walk away. Then “the One who was without sin” looked at her and told her to “go and sin no more.”
Jesus saw this woman not as woman caught in her lover’s embrace, but as a child created in the image of God. He saw her as the daughter of Eve and the child of the Promise. Jesus saw her as she could be, fully restored, head once again held up without shame. He saw her as she could be– fully restored.
It is no accident that the Son of God would be a carpenter’s son. He knew how to mold things in His hands and create things out of nothing. He knew how to restore. He could restore broken chairs and tables. He could restore broken people too.
He did with me. He can with you too.