It had been a hard day, just an all-around difficult day—late to work and then overwhelmed with additional lists of “to-dos.” I was very much looking forward to ending the workday, picking the kids up from school, and enjoying time with them—even treating them to some ice cream and enjoying the nice weather outside. As the day moved closer to picking the kids up, my mood lightened, and I was finding joy again. Unfortunately, the kids I was hoping to pick up and the ones who actually got into the car were two entirely different groups of beings. Instead of happy, joyful kids ready to enjoy the nice afternoon, these kids got in the car and immediately began to whine and complain about everything. They were tired, hungry, and moody, and their lamentations quickly drew me back into my earlier bad mood. As a result, instead of showing grace or empathy, I threw stones—stones of irritability and frustration because I simply had had enough.
Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone . . .
In reflecting upon the Scripture passage of Jesus and the adulterous woman, I am drawn back to all the times that I have cast stones of irritability rather than of grace and love. Although Jesus could have done the same out of his frustration with being challenged by the crowd on an interpretation of doctrine or with the adulterous woman who had sinned against his Father’s commandment, he chose not to act with irritation and instead threw his mercy and grace towards someone who needed it most. It was in this moment that he showed us all how to love deeply, even in the midst of the most challenging of days. Jesus’ casting love and mercy is a reminder that the Lord has done great things for us (Ps 126). And so, let us also do as he instructed—to go forth and sin no more, setting down any stones we might cast when frustrated by the challenges of motherhood.
It can be difficult at times to see the goodness that God has placed in our lives. Sure, when things are going well, God’s goodness is easily seen in the joyous gifts we receive, in the smiles and ease with which happy days grace our homes. But on the hard days, the ones in which we doubt our mothering or are brought to our knees in anguish, questioning whether we are good enough to do this, God’s goodness often becomes lost among the tears, unseeable through the veil of life’s struggles. It is here, in these moments of heartache and uncertainty, that even the most gracious of moms, in her ill-attempt to find goodness again, may erroneously cast stones against anything she perceives as keeping her from connecting with God’s goodness and joy.
As we gently walk out of the desert of Lent and towards the approaching Easter season, may we all remain reminded of Jesus’ casting of love, mercy, and grace to those who need it most. And may our own days of motherhood continue to do the same.