A well known story in scripture tells about a group of men bringing to Jesus a woman caught in the act of adultery. The penalty for her sin was death, yet the men tested Jesus by asking Him what should be done. Jesus asked if any of them were perfect, then stooped down and wrote in the dust with His finger. The men all walked away. When they were gone, Jesus spoke forgiveness to the woman and told her simply to go and sin no more.
There is speculation among scholars as to what profound words Jesus must have written in the dust. The Bible does not tell us, so it must not be important. Perhaps the greater lesson has to do with the character of one who would do what Jesus did.
What type of person finds a way to pardon someone who without question deserves severe punishment? What type of person has the confidence to just ask a question, then quietly wait for the outcome? What type of person shares words of encouragement to one who expects a stern lecture, or forgives when he has every right to condemn?
Of course only a person who reflects the nature of God could do such things. In this scripture passage it was Jesus. In daily life it can also be you and me.
The story further shows that I can bring my secret sins and ugliness to Jesus. He will speak few words – most likely a question – then He will stoop down and leave the rest to the small voice within me.
Letters in the dust have the power to transform.