Doodle in the dirt

I am a doodler. A journaler. A note-taker.

I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember – doodling in my notebooks in elementary school always got me in trouble. (Oh how I wish one teacher along the way would have realized that’s how I learn! School would have been a whole different story for me then.)

If you glance at the stack of paper in front of me on a Sunday Morning? You’ll find a variety of notes and images. And to an outsider? It could very well seem that I’m not paying much attention to the sermon, but quite the contrary. These random doodles and notes are how I learn. How I absorb.

Now stick with me, I’m going somewhere. I promise.

In John, chapter 8, the Pharisees bring a woman to Jesus. This woman has been caught in a tough spot – she’s an adulterer. And they are wanting to stone her, as the Law of Moses has proclaimed to be the proper response.

But rather than the reaction they were expecting, Jesus stepped back and drew in the dirt before he responded.

John Chapter 8

What he wrote is heavily debated, and until we get to walk with him in Heaven? We’ll never know. But the point of the matter is, he took the time to step back and write something down before he launched into his response.

Then, once he was done writing what he needed? He responded, calmly and matter-of-factly.

Here’s the thing. I have a short fuse. I get angry. Quickly.

Sure, I’m better now than I use to be. But I am still quick to react. Quick to let my mouth run when I’m unhappy with a situation. Yet these 11 verse in the Gospel of John remind us to step back and take a few moments before we respond. Gather our composure. Say a quick prayer. Doodle in the dirt.

When the Pharisees brought this woman before Jesus, they were looking for a reaction, and instead they got a response. And this is how we should respond to those who challenge us.

The next time you’re facing a moment where you’re likely to lose your cool? Take a few moments to stop and think about how you’ll react. Say a prayer, gather your thoughts, draw in the dirt, write in your prayer journal. But then, give a response rather than a reaction.

-Hebrews 6:19 – Jacque
say a prayer


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