The Pain of a Sinner


The church can be a lonely place for a sinner. I should know, as I can relate to the apostle Paul's self indictment that he/I am the worst of all. You see, I know my heart, my thoughts, my words. While sitting in church the other weekend, I stared at the words in front of me. Here she was for all the world and history to see. The woman caught in the act of adultery. What must it have been like for her, drug out to the streets and thrust into public view for all to stare at and condemn?

Ashamed, fearful, humiliated, hurt, embarrassed, dirty, worthless, alone and surrounded by the masses who were self righteously calling for judgement.

I began to contemplate: "Does God really answer prayer?" Deep inside I already knew the answer, and was terrified at the next thought. In order to be of any kind of hope for those who have lost all hope, I must identify with those who suffer. In order to accomplish that, I knew I had to ask God something I was not yet quite ready to accept, and He being God would very likely answer this prayer.

What were the woman's thoughts as they raced through her mind? And then … looking up from the dirt in shame, into the eyes of a loving savior who projected no judgement, only compassion and forgiveness. Slowly the prayer formed on my lips, "Father, give me a heart that identifies with those who suffer."


Father… give me your heart and your eyes. May we all have His heart and His eyes.

by Ed Apffel