Sitting in Judgment

“More important than our experience of Christ, is the Christ of our experience.” ~ James B. Torrance

I remember driving to the hospital one morning to visit a church member that had been admitted the night before, when I found myself stopped at a very busy intersection looking for an opening to pull out into traffic. I became aware of a person behind me in a blue sedan growing more and more agitated as I waited for my opening. As you can imagine, it didn’t take very long before I was being honked at. As I looked in my rear-view mirror, I caught the eyes of the woman in the blue sedan, whose hand gestures made it quite obvious that she was very angry with me.

When I was finally able to pull out in to traffic, the woman in the blue sedan followed and zoomed right around me, almost causing an accident before speeding off in the same direction that I was traveling. As I continued to drive toward the hospital, I grew more and more frustrated with the woman’s behavior. Who did she think that she was to treat me that way just because I wasn’t able to pull out into traffic as quickly as she wanted me to? What gave her the right to be so critical of me over something as trivial as sitting at a stop sign? Her motives may have been a mystery to me, but her actions were…in my mind…quite obviously wrong.

When I arrived at the hospital a few minutes later, I was shocked to see that same little blue sedan parked near the front entrance. Parking myself, I made my way to the information desk where I had planned to ask for the room of the church member that I was visiting. As I walked up, I arrived just in time to hear the woman from the blue sedan asking for the number to the room that her father was in. As I stood behind her, she explained to the attendant that she had been called by her family members just an hour ago with the message that her father, who had been battling cancer for months, did not have long to live. She had driven the 45 miles from her home to the hospital as fast as she could, desperately afraid that she would not make it in time to say goodbye.

It’s interesting, isn’t it…how willing we are to judge others without even knowing the whole story? The truth is that judgment without complete knowledge and perfect love is always unjust. If you want to have a little less drama in your life this year, then take some time to visit with God before you sit in judgment. You might just find that there is quite a bit of the story that you don’t know!

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