I’m up to it again! That title… the one at the top of the page, yeah that one! I stole it! There (confession is good for the soul)!
Want to know something else? I don’t feel any guilt whatsoever for stealing it… sorry, Debbie (is it okay to say I’m sorry and not feel guilty?). I have no remorse because… well, maybe it’s best I share something first.
Recently, a young man left this world by his own demise. Yes, I’m aware that suicides occur often, but this one I knew personally. A mass of stuff flooded his life, seemingly all at once, and he made the choice to end his life.
Much conversation regarding spiritual things came about due to my co-worker’s untimely death. For this I am grateful. In a sense, funerals are a gift… they make people think about things they normally avoid.
I show no remorse for stealing a line from my friend’s post and using it for a title though because of other conversations I hear… those that are down right mean. Because of my co-worker’s response to the negative circumstances of his life, he has been given new names that describe his act as cowardice and without intelligence (terms I choose not to repeat).
I opened Debbie’s post over at Two Minutes of Grace (Walk a Mile in My Shoes, Then Give Them Back) and knew her words were what I was waiting for to present a response to attitudes such as these. Her note really isn’t about my topic, but about the living dealing with the living, and yet it is very applicable here as well. She writes:
“I respect the intent of the Native American proverb: ‘Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.’ It’s a plea to stop judging and become more empathetic. When I attempt to understand how you feel by removing my shoes and trying to walk around in yours it looks something like this:
If I’d grown up in that environment…
If I’d been treated that way…
If I had made that decision…
If I’d been so inclined… (end quote)”
Do you see the dilemma? No two humans deal with the exact same situations with the same mentality and focus. We are all different. It’s very unfair to be judgmental of others when we can’t possibly know their mind and heart.
There’s another side of this that should be stated. When we can look at other’s lives and be this critical, we really have misunderstood the grace of God and the devastating effect of sin. Without the intervening grace of God, every one of us is capable of anything.
May our God find us sharing the same grace He shares with us through the shedding of His Son’s blood.