Kay was not very pretty. She was weird and dressed poorly. Rumors were flying around that she and another girl were caught behind the school building. I was only twelve and had no idea what the “L” word meant, but it sure didn’t sound good. When Kay walked down the hall between classes, people would scream and fling themselves against the wall to avoid her “cooties.” I was only twelve and had no idea what “cooties” were, but they sure didn’t sound good either.
One day after lunch, we were all standing outside eating ice cream and talking. It was a daily routine that we all enjoyed.
Suddenly, the crowd began to part, as if Moses had parted the Red Sea. There stood Kay, wearing her lime-green polyester pants and striped blouse. Her hair was matted and stringy, her braces gleaming in the sun. Someone threw a popsicle at her and it landed on her head.
At first, Kay just sneered in anger. Then she withdrew a few feet to pull the popsicle from her hair. And then it happened.
Kay began to cry.
And the crowd began to laugh.
As the adulterous woman was brought before Jesus, I wonder if she cried. I wonder how she must have felt. Rejected? Scorned? Hated? Unloved? The crowd didn’t just laugh at her; they wanted to kill her. She had gotten caught “behind the school building.” She had “cooties”.
There are many people today who have “cooties”. Some have messed up their lives with drugs and alcohol. Some have been involved in adulterous or homosexual relationships. Others have gotten arrested for crimes and spent time in jail. Some are just “ugly”, or poor, or mentally challenged, or socially unacceptable. How do churches treat people like Kay?
Some Christians are very loving and forgiving, realizing that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Sadly though, there are many who are judgmental. They think that they are better than other people. They don’t want to get “cooties” from dirty people. Some even pick up stones.
Jesus has a word for those who would throw popsicles at people. “He is who is without sin among you [those who do not have cooties], let him throw a popsicle at her first.”
Well okay, He actually said “stone”. I’m sure it must have felt like a rock to Kay.