Sunday, July 15, 2012

Don't Judge a Hurting World

A few years ago, I read a powerful post by Amy Welborn about shopping for her young son's birthday cake mere months after his daddy's sudden death. (The post has been taken off the internet so I cannot find it to share.) The cake lady across the counter had no clue the emotions, sadness, difficulty this small, common task was for this wife/mother who was left to wrestle her own grief along with that of her very young sons. This simple task was, in fact, a momentous mountain to climb.

Part of that post, she wrote:

"Who knows what huge bridge someone is trying to cross when they need something small from us? Who knows what a difference our outstretched hands make in someone’s longer journey, which probably holds difficulties far beyond what they let on."

Though I was already on the road towards ditching my own judgemental attitude, thanks to several Ignatian retreats, much spiritual reading and my own breaking point many years prior, Amy's post inked for me the huge commitment to do my very best to be kind, supportive, and positive to everyone I encountered in my day-to-day life.

There is so much hurt in this world. More hurt than happiness.

Two years ago our church pastor and deacon called me into the office and asked me to take over the vacated position of religious ed director. It was a leap of faith, yet these past two years have opened wide the need for kindness, a gentle approach, a non-judgemental attitude, and positive reinforcement in a world that is hurt and hurting.

There is so much hurt in this world; we don't know the half of it.

Everyone has a story and we don't know their story. It is a self-righteous to presume that we do.

News anchor Cooper Andersen recently came out, after many years of speculation on behalf of the public, announcing that he was gay. He stated, "In a perfect world, this would be nobody's business."

I applauded that. I have long lamented that our world judges us primarily by our sexual orientation. We judge what people do in the bedroom and hardly care about other parts of their lives. I've written about it already and I hardly care to go there again but, while our sexual identity is a big part of who we are, it is not the total package. We are much more, so much more, and worth more thought than what today's world places upon our value as people made in the image and likeness of God.

We are such curious beings. Rightly so. God made us this way. Righly so. It's what makes us grow, expand, reach out, and learn. It's all good.

But the media, especially social media, has shown just how nosy we all are and it has us laughing and pointing and slurring and mocking each other.

I am seeing, all too clearly how much I have to turn away from the opinions on Facebook. (I'd add the twittings on Twitter but I never go there. My blog feed is set-up to instantly log onto Twitter and from there, go to Facebook.) I need to turn away and focus on my own story. It is not in the words I say to others, but in the way those words are presented. Words are mostly lip-service in this 21st century that is full of blog posts, a constant twitters and Facebook stats and news worthy material. Constant, constant words. Everyone is an expert. Everyone has something to say. We can fall victim to thinking we are saved and need to help everyone around us. We forget how flawed our own story is and how needy we are.

Words are just words. It's not what we say, but how we say it.

We are too much in too much of each other's business. Doing so gives us a sense of acedia which dulls the pain and frustration of our own battles as we enter into the stories of others when, in fact, no one knows anyone else's story. We get so caught up in an preconceived battle that when someone dares to assume they know our story, we lash at them with our words. We forget we are all fighting a battle and it's a hard battle and we need to support one another but never assume we know their full story or that any of us will not need a thorough purging of mind, body, and soul.

The battle is not easy...for any of us...but we can help make it less grueling.

The song "Don't Laugh at Me" by country singer Mark Willis is a simple start.

This article speaks pretty well: Learning to Love, Not Judge {where I borrowed the above signs}.

We need to treat people as we would treat ourself, knowing that that person's salvation is left in very good hands...the hands that know the whole story... the hands that gave us the Golden Rule.

The hands that forgive.


  1. I love this post so much. It is wonderful, beautiful. Thank you for writing it.

  2. Beautifully said, Cay. Thank you so much for sharing this. :)


Your Thoughtful Comments Matter

Recommendations by Engageya

Blog Archive