What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Casting Stones

So, who hasn't heard the sad saga of Paula Deen this past week in the news?  If you haven't, you've probably had your head stuck in the sand somewhere on an island. Lucky you.  I purposely have not made any comments or statements regarding my feelings about this issue this past week for a couple of reasons:

  1. I have never watched the Paula Deen program on TV, nor have I purchased any of her cookbooks, cookware, or anything else connected to Paula Deen.  Why? I'm not at home to watch much TV, and I'm not really into "cooking" that much anymore.  So I don't have any opinion regarding her program, cooking, or other endorsements.
  2. Out of respect to my friends and acquaintances who are black, I did not want to appear to be defending Paula Deen's use of the "n" word and possibly be misunderstood.
However, that being said, I do have something to say.  I've been letting this story seep into my thoughts and feelings this week, and I have decided that I do have some thoughts worth sharing with you concerning this.

What triggered my musing a little more was when I noticed the title for the sermon on the bulletin for this Sunday at the church where I work: "What Would Jesus Say to Paula Deen?"  I do not attend this church on Sunday, therefore I will not get to hear the sermon being delivered by our Pastor, and I have not read his transcript, so I do not know what he is planning to say.  I was frankly a bit surprised that this would be the topic of his sermon for this week, but the more I thought about it, I began to feel a bit of a sermon rising up in my heart and soul as well.  As I said, I don't know what he has chosen as his scripture text or what the main points of the sermon will be, but here's what I believe God would want ME to say on this subject:

"So when they continued asking Him, He (Jesus) lifted up Himself, and said unto them
He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." (John 8:7, KJV)

Yes, I know this story is about the woman who was caught in the act of adultery (John 8:1-11), but I believe the message still fits the current situation.  

I also grew up in the south, although I was transplanted here at the age of 6  (back in the late 1950's) from the farm country of Pennsylvania.  Prior to my arriving in the south with my family, I don't know if I had ever even seen a black person, let alone I would never have known any negative things about their race or have any trace of prejudice against them. Once our family settled into our new community in this southern part of the nation, we realized we were living in a very different culture and society from whence we had come.  My first hint of being in a different world was when my little friends in my first grade class started calling me a "Yankee"!  I had no clue what that meant, and did not understand why that was considered a bad thing, but the way they said it made me think it must be something awful...even more awful than being called "carrot top" for my red hair, and being told that they'd "rather be dead than red on the head!" I quickly learned to come up with my own taunts to defend myself, but that's another story.

The next clue in learning that life was very different in the south than in the north was that in the County Courthouse, where my mother worked, there were two water fountains...one which had a sign over it that said, "White", and another that had a sign that said, "Colored".  There were also different sets of restrooms, again, "White", and "Colored".  In our drug store and doctor's office there were separate entrances and waiting areas...one for "White", and one for "Colored".    The "Colored" people were never allowed to enter the white area of any store or be served at the soda fountain in our drug store.  The "Colored" people did not even come into that particular part of town unless they absolutely had to.  They had their own little stores, but not nearly as nice as the white people's stores, and they also had their own schools and churches, and they lived in the section of town known as "Colored Town".  

The other thing I learned was that many of the kids in my school, as well as many adults, did not have much respect for the "Colored People".  The "N" word was used frequently, both in jokes, as well as in ordinary language and conversations.  It actually was the common word that was used to talk about the people of color, and no one seemed to notice that it was improper to use that particular word.  I confess that I even learned to say that word myself, although my parents would not have tolerated it if they had known, and I am certainly not proud of it today.  

It was not until I was a junior in high school that our schools became integrated, and my class was the very first class to receive black students. It was called "The Great Experiment", bringing five of the very best students from our local black high school, and enrolling them in our class.  I can only imagine how fearful those five brave teens must have felt on that first day of class in an all white school. To our credit, my fellow classmates and I actually went out of our way to welcome them into our midst...we tried our best to include them in our extra curricular activities, sports, and conversations. We were very proud of them and their accomplishments when we all received our diplomas together the following year.  Amazingly, some of us have actually been reunited in recent years through a class reunion and then as friends on Facebook. Sadly, I just received word last night that one of our courageous black classmates passed away this week from a heart attack.  I am so glad that I had gotten reacquainted with her through Facebook, and I was so happy to see that she was a committed, dedicated Christian woman, a real prayer warrior, a precious child of God, a woman deserving my greatest respect and admiration. She will truly be missed.

I am extremely sorry that I ever thoughtlessly used a word that caused such hurt in the hearts of good honest people, even if they never heard me say it. I ask for their forgiveness today. I wonder also if other people throughout our nation have thought about that very much this past week, and have examined their own hearts and realized that they, too, may have said some words in the past that were degrading to other people, races, or religions.  Southerners are not the only guilty parties.  I know many people from the cities up north who have used racial and ethnic slurs against people from different nationalities ever since immigrating to the United States on the Mayflower.  There is probably an ethnic slur for every nationality alive today.  It's wrong. It's unkind. It's always inappropriate.  But my question is, why should Paula Deen be the only one being crucified over this use of improper language years ago? If she's guilty, then so is probably 99% of the human race. We all know we are guilty of possibly even worse than what she has said.

The rest of the Bible story that I quoted above goes this way:

John 8,verses 8-11:
 "And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, 
"Woman, where are those thine accusers? 
Hath no man condemned thee?"
She said, "No man, Lord." 

And Jesus said unto her, 
"Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."

Thankfully, our Lord and Savior has forgiven us of our many sins, if we have repented and confessed and asked for that forgiveness.  Perhaps this situation with Paula Deen this week has been a bit of a wake-up call for many of us, in more ways than just in our choice of words and language.  Perhaps we all need to do some self-examination and confession.  I trust it won't result in the loss of a contract or job or position in life...but if it does...well, we know we at least did what we believed was right in being truthful and forthright in our confession.  I believe God is going to take care of Paula Deen.  She's not a bad person.  I don't know her well enough to know if she is a believer, but maybe this experience will help her to lean on Jesus even more and not rely on the world for her livelihood.   Maybe He will help her to start a new contract in her life...an eternal contract that will be a blessing to many.  God is in the second chance business...I know that for a fact and from personal experience.  Perhaps He wants to give you a second chance too! What do YOU need to confess?

And Jesus said unto her, 
"Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."


  1. "Go and sin no more", what a blessing those words are and they are for all of us.

    1. Yes, and especially the part right before, "Neither do I (GOD) condemn you..." Thank you, Jesus, for "there is now therefore NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." Romans 8:1


  2. I couldn't have said it better! Thanks Pamela for this post.


Thank you for visiting here today. I would love for you to sign my guestbook and let me know you stopped by. I always enjoy reading your comments and words of encouragement! May you be blessed as you go on your way. Please come back and visit again soon.