Stones, Dust, and Redemption

Stone, Dust, and Redemption
Leah-Joy Smith

I don’t know how
They found me.
How they knew.
They always find out,
Always know in the end.

They are empty robes
With open, hollow mouths.

Basket on my tired hip,
They marched like Roman
Across the market to me.

Pulled across cobblestones,
In the middle of stares.
Forced to face His brown eyes.
Mid-sentence of a lesson
In the temple courts.

The robes wished for stones.
For me because of what I’d done. Stones
For Him who had done nothing.

Finger moving in the sand
My mind could not tell
My eyes what He wrote.

Arrows flew from hollow mouths
Nicking and pestering,
Pelting my hurt heart each time.
Seeing Him as a bear,
My mess was their bait.
The Lion rose.

Let anyone of you
Who is without sin
Be the first to throw
A stone at her.

He put his finger back
To the dirt.

The Robe released my elbow,
Let loose my hair,
Swallowed a dose of defeat.
I was left alone
With burning eyes,
With rattled insides,
With Him.

I froze, like Lot’s wife.
He stood and lifted His eternal eyes.
Well, little sister, where’d they go?
No stones?

No, sir.

His tool calloused hand on my shoulder,
Then I don’t have any either.
Go live free and leave
Your life of sin.

That was when it started;
The turning.
From adultery, climbing out
Of a trench so familiar on the rope latter
Of my Father’s love, perseverance
One rung at a time.

Then I met him.
He listened, I listened.
My story came out.
I opened my heart like an age
Old manuscript: slowly,
Every sentence uncurled, read,
And accepted.

No judgment, hollow lies,
Or stones. Instead,
Hope, love, and home.
H plays tag with the girls,
Tells me to rest.
Sometimes, he reminds me
Of Jesus’ Nazarene father.