Thursday, April 02, 2009

Before Tom drives to work in the dark mornings, we usually watch the local news together, that is, when The Patty Duke Show doesn't come on at 5:30 instead of 6:00. :)

So there we were this morning watching a story about the big boss in the road department (or something... I can never recall those specific details) who'd been skimming money off the top, but paying it back (he said). All except for the latest $2,800 he 'borrowed.' Two FBI agents showed up at his house yesterday and after talking awhile, the guy got physical with them and at one point they were all wrestling together on the carpet of his living room.

Tom and I were, like, "What a dweeb. Didn't he know better than to wrestle with FBI guys? Sheesh." And we said even more stuff like that after a document was shown where the road department guy was quoted as saying, "I could have taken both of you."

"Yeah, right," Tom and I said. And I was thinking, "Man, this guy must really be scared because he's really guilty. Boy, is he in trouble."

Then at the very end of the story--the final sentence--the announcer said that he (road department guy) had recently lost his wife who'd passed away.


Tom and I got really quiet. Then we both said things like, "Hmm... Wow. That throws something altogether different into the mix. I feel sorry for him. It's easier to understand why he pushed around the FBI guys like that."

Always, there are two sides to every story. I remind myself of that often. And the Holy Spirit reminds me, too--many times I start forming an opinion about somebody's actions and zap! This little ping goes off in my head and right away I've learned to say, "Nope! I have no opinion about that. I'm thinking nothin' about nothin'."

And you know? I'm glad for those zaps because many is the time I've been plain ol' wrong and harsh in my opinions. Over and over I've been glad that I did not express my thoughts aloud because they ended up being incorrect and downright critical.

But what I like better are the times when I thought only good about someone... the times I did not judge, but had true mercy, instead, because I recalled how I felt when I went through similar times, myself.

And may I more often look 'behind the scenes' of peoples' lives and extend more mercy after discovering what lies back there. I've found that to be a more marvelous way to live.

Mercy helps you understand why a person did something--and have compassion for him-- without approving of what he did.

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Micah 7:18 "Who is a God like you, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retains not his anger forever, because he delights in mercy."


... Paige said...

At least 2 sides, unless the other person is passed on.

Witness' if any also have a view.

Funny how news stories affect us and how our perception can change when we hear a different view or start to see some of the accused as people with families and situations which may be similar to our own.

I need to be more open to the plight of others. I try to be "softer" but there is so much of me that says IF they wanted better they should work for it and stop their vices.

Who am I but a little clay figure waiting for my turn in the vice

Thank you for another insightful post

Elizabeth said...

A great post Debra !

Nancy said...

I agree that it was undoubtedly very hard on that man, loosing his wife, but I think that honesty is a trait that we either have or don't. Most people loose someone very important to them, some time in their lives, but they don't use it to justify stealing or some other illegal activity.

Debra said...

Thanks, Everyone! Nancy--technically I was feeling more sympathetic about the man pushing around the FBI guys--it was that part which made more sense to me after hearing his wife had died. Sorry I didn't make that clearer. Blessings, Debra

Rodney Olsen said...

Thanks for a wonderful post, Debra.

Yes, we're often way too quick to judge a situation when we don't have all the details, then we hope that others aren't judging us.

Anonymous said...

Once again, a post I can truly relate to. I think you and I are on the same wavelength in many ways.

Laurie S.

Donetta said...

Well said. Come on by I have something for you my dear.

Saija said...

thanx for sharing that ...
ain't it the truth ...
i have to constantly slap myself mentally about thoughts - and attitudes ... cause i don't know the whole story ...

Mimi said...

Just doing a little blog surfing and found I so happy that I did. You're a keeper, that's for sure!