There is a story in the Bible of a young king who was called “one after God’s own heart” who fell hard. One night, he was out on his balcony and looked over to see a young lady bathing. He fell in such lust for her, he sent her beau out to the front lines of war to die so he could have her to himself. But, the young knight lived and the act of adultery had already been done. The king who had been known for his faith in God, his wise decisions and great military capability lost his reputation and the trust of his people over night. The story of King David has been told multiple times throughout history in both story and song (ever hear the song Hallelujah?)
Normally, in my life this has always just been a story, but no longer.
One of my mentors and friends has found himself in this very predicament and with his standing in the community could easily be equated to the King of the town. The sad part is that after decades of service, his reputation has been tarnished because of one lustful act. What is worse, is that his actions do not just affect his career and family, it affects the entire community. He has served in places of leadership from church positions to community organizations to coaching. All those lives he touched are affected by the decision.
As much as this is a tale of tragedy, and it is, it brings to question a very complicated faith point of view. As a Believer, I am called to love the sinner – gay, prostitute, liar, murder, etc. In this case, how do I put that into practice? How do I help this man and his family who has so often been a help and pinnacle of faith to the community? The simple answer is prayer. Although I believe that to be true, I do not think that is the only thing to do.
When you live in a small town like this and the actions of one have such overreaching arms, it is hard not to think of his wife going grocery shopping and getting the sympathetic looks to her face but the snickers and whispers behind her back, or his daughters feeling like they no longer have a home of comfort and trust to come back to, or the man himself knowing he has to make some pretty tough decisions to potentially step down from programs he has dedicated his life to. How do you help the family through such sad situations and not condone the sin? How do you stand by the people and help while not casting the first stone? After all, we all mess up. We all sin. Our sins by definition affect others too.
The answer is I have no answer. I am saddened by the choice that was made. I am saddened by the community response to it. I am saddened by the pain and hurt that was caused. But, I am hopeful. I am hopeful that like the crowd that wanted to stone a woman who was caught in adultery, we will all remember that “he who has not sinned should cast the first stone.” I am hopeful that rebuilding and unity will be accomplished in His timing. God is a healer of more than the body and mind.
If you read this friend, (yes friend because that is what you and your family has always been and your one stupid action – because that is what it was – does not change that) I want you to know that God loves you. We love you. This is not the end of everything, though it may look like it. This is only the beginning. King David is remembered as a great king and is the king in which Jesus our Lord descends. God uses all things for good for those who are in Christ Jesus, which I believe you are. God still has a purpose for you and your family. I don’t know how to be a support to you or your family, and I don’t condone what you did, but I am here if you can think of a way I can help.