“Everyone comes with baggage. Find someone who loves you enough to help you unpack.” ~Anonymous
Jesus walked this earth to set hearts free, not only did He help others unpack their baggage; He removed it. In John chapter 8 the scribes and the Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in the act of adultery. I can’t imagine the shame she felt, all eyes on her eager to condemn her and throw stones at her to end her broken life. But not our Jesus, He stooped and wrote in the ground as if he did not hear them testing him. As they hurled accusations at the broken woman with baggage He raised himself up and said:
“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
And then he writes some more on the dirty ground in a crowd of dirty hearts who needed to see their own sin in order to walk away from the woman who was caught in the act. One by one they left and it was just the woman with baggage, desperate to be loved, and Jesus who mends broken places in ragged hearts setting them free.
“Where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, my Lord.”
“Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.”
The more baggage we carry, the more intense our desire is to be loved and please others. It becomes a craving that is never satisfied and a lingering emptiness that takes us down dusty roads that lead to dead ends in every aspect of our lives. Ragged hearts tend to find people with jagged edges to pierce their tender state of being and this is our Jesus, the God who goes out of His way to meet with a broken girl in a broken relationship. He sees the jagged edges and tear-stained face and refuses to move on until the stone throwers walk away. He writes in the dirty soil and rewrites this woman’s history. Go and sin no more, your slate has been wiped clean.
When the enemy reminds us of our past, let us hold unswervingly to the promise of our future. No matter how many times we fall and fail, we must get back up and remember that moment Jesus stooped low to write on the ground and set a woman free.
That day a woman with a sketchy past met true and lasting loving. One that restored hope instead of inflicting shame, scars on her heart, and an cheap imitation of love that only wants one thing. Loved walked onto the scene and unpacked a very large, ugly bag. Loved removed the label of shame and welcomed her home baggage free. I pray we can love like Jesus does when we noticed the hurting and the wayward, may we rally around them and help them to unpack baggage they have been carrying around for decades. If we can look past all the things we don’t understand about them, maybe we could be more like Jesus and less like a judge and keeper of wrongs.
We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and not a single one of us has it all together no matter how long we have been serving Christ. (Rom 3:23) Let us be grace givers, not stone throwers, for this is the heartbeat of Christ to seek and to save those who are lost. I pray I never forget the way I came to Christ and my all-consuming need of a Savior.
The Jesus who writes in the dirty soil is unafraid of a dirty past, wiping the slate clean and rewriting our story where baggage becomes a platform, under our feet…exactly where it should be.