Tuesday, October 19, 2004

those judgemental glances

hmm.. i've found that one of the most hurtful and angrifying things in the world is for someone (a friend usually) to assume that i might judge them for something that they do, struggle with, are addicted to, blah blah blah. for instance, one day i glanced out our dorm room window and recognized a friend and, as i began to pull it open, i realized he was smoking...kinda surprised me...i had no idea he smoked...and i laughed because here i had no clue and wondered if he'd been at it all the while...or if he was just experiementing... but...i yelled his name and laughed, "what are you doin? i didn't know you smoked!!" ....it doesn't sound like anyone was laughing by the words i typed, but let's just say you could hear the humor.... well, instead of being like 'doh here i am,' he hid the cigar out of reaction and kinda laughed a little nervously back "what are you talkin about?"...he looked a little embarrassed..maybe a shot of shame... ugh it hurts me, because i don't understand why someone would think that i could love them any less just because they have a bad habit... needless to say i kinda got on him for it, "!!! i don't care if you smoke!! i mean..i don't want you to die, but i love you regardless! i can't believe you'd think i wouldn't!" i'm not sure if he got the message or not...
i guess it shouldn't be a surprise that people hide the bad habits in their lives... the church err...many christians today have made it obvious that if you're doing wrong they're going to preach at you until you change your ways. i hate the judgemental assumption though that just because i'm pretty serious about God i'm going to be judgemental. they're doing the same thing that they get angry with other people for: judging, labeling, stereotyping. ugh some people might judge..many people do, but it's ME! i don't care if you've backslidden so far you can't get up, i love you i love you i love you...and putting out your cigerette out before i notice, or acting like something else to be accepted...isn't going to change the fact that i could care less about who you are trying to be... i just want to know who you are...
it really doesn't make me so angry as much as it saddens me. it aches me that i know people who feel they have to be something else in order to be accepted. they feel they have to believe what everyone else believes, and hide what they do if it doesn't add up to what goes on around them. i guess that's one of the problems in the Body today... too many people are hiding their "booboo" and if they share, the church gets mad and instead of carressing the wound they slap on a band-aid and send them on their way. this happens not only to christians but to the lost as well... the lost come in for some care and we stick up our noses and ask them to cleanse that wound a little before they come near our holy selves. there's a lost, dying, aching people out there and we're worried about seeing a little drop of blood fall on the sanctuary floor or perhaps getting a tear stain on our shirts.... shewt... we're never going to see the Body glorified.
how about we all stop giving out those judgemental glances... i'm not gonna judge the lost, nor the found... don't either of you judge me... i'm doing my best to follow Christ and heck..i may mess up, but i'm gonna forgive you...forgive me... nobody's just like anybody else...
God forgive us... fill our hearts with a sincere love for all people in all situations of life... and let people know who i am and to whom i belong by the way that i love...

2 comments:

Keith Hammond said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Steve said...

So I thought I might see who this mystery comment poster was and what I have found in the antithesis to my presumptions about a structure and belief. I was raised within a Catholic household, a situation that spawned the notion that supremacy is reserved to God and God alone, but he can "ordain" certain temporal parties as just weilders of his righteous infallibility. Despite the nature of our society and religion to lean towards a patriarchical household, my mother was the weilder of this divine entitlement. The end result was my embracing of the Methodist ideals my grandmother professed as opposed to the maternal obligations I was required to which I was forced to submit and accept.
In ambiguous concurrence with your post, my main contention with any organized religion is the notion of supercilious obligation to save all of those around you. Recently, I encountered a friend who had to the San Blas islands in Panama on a mission. My father being from Panama and my grandmother being a Cueva indian, I was familiar with the Cuna indians of San Blas and their very loose, efficient methods of belief. As he told me of his encounters, I remembered a mass from my childhood in which the father professed the enormous significance of "Good Works Missions" to "Conversion Missions." One he referred to as an act to portray the truest, most pure of Christian qualities in order to convince someone of the beauty of love for and life with Christ. It's antithesis, he claimed, was the use of any type of active attempt to make someone abandon their beliefs as a result of Christian initiative. In simple terms, you help them and let them come to you, don't approach them. As for me, I agree with the father on that issue. For any Christian to be presumptuous enough to declare someone in need of salvation is, plain and simply, enthnocentrically flawed. When on missions, our good deeds should be the compelling reason for someone to seek the love of Christ, not our (subversively mild) cohersion. I think life is the same way.
In leading a life of tolerance, in permitting anyone to live their life the way they need to in order to find their niche in existence is the supreme mode of Christianity. Humans are inherently flawed because of the gracious gift we were granted known as free will. One obligation of free will is discipline, the other is tolerance. With the disciplining of oneself to live by a code or a strict set of values in order to facilitate a meaningful and purpose driven life, one can truly acheive a level of euphoria that only engenders itself when granting another human happiness; and in being tolerant of others, the blossoming of diversity is made possible. Both are extremely important in the life of a Christian hoping to make an impact.
My mother said to me one time after repeated (and futile) attempts of me attempting to defend my choice of Protestantism, have you ever thought about living the way you do without telling anyone you are a Christian? I responded negatively, citing the obligation of all Christians to profess their love for the Christocentric life. She told me something I will never forget, "perhaps, you might meet more success if you just lived your life. If you made your tolerance of others superior to your disciplining of yourself." I will never forget those words. I responded and decided to live my life as a compassionate human first with my Christian principles guiding me rather than the opposite. I found out that sometimes if you are just a genuinely nice person and never attempt to tell someone that they should change their life to adhere to the Teachings, then they are far more likely to sub-conciously change their living to suit the teachings you to which you adhere. Living your life for others to emulate is noble, living your life to change the lives of others is pompous.
Maybe your friend was just disappointed or maybe he was worried about offending you, but nonetheless, in being so outwardly and openly ready to accept someone into the embrace of Christianity, you might actually being acheiving the opposite. Try just living your life and letting the light within your soul shine, never fail to remember that Christianity is a method of acheiving nobility in life and purity in existence, just like Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Living as a good person is what devotion to Christ should yeild. Maybe a lot of us have lost touch with that...