O6092021 – Always Be Kind

 

Interesting Gospel text.  This is because people thought they knew Jesus.  They knew what made him tick.  And they did not like it.  It makes you think.  Or, at least, it SHOULD!

 

It is a truism, I think…but YOU have to be the one to decide. 

 

You never know WHAT another person is going through. 

 

You do not KNOW what they HAVE EXPERIENCED.

 

You do not know WHO their people really are.  At least, not FROM their vantage point.

 

Or WHAT they have GONE THROUGH.

 

And, HOW it has AFFECTED THEM.

 

Or, WHERE they HAVE BEEN.

 

HOW they GOT TO – WHERE THEY ARE, today.

 

You know NOTHING of their STRUGGLE.

 

You know nothing of their MENTAL STABILITY or lack thereof.

 

You have ABSOLUTELY KNOW IDEA whatsoever “How they felt.”

 

Or WHAT they have INTERNALIZED.

 

YOU know NOTHING of their JOURNEY.

 

We are not in this life to COMPARE OURSELVES to “others.”  Our comparisons simply DO NOT WORK.  They never have, they never will.

Go ahead, say those words, “I know JUST HOW YOU FEEL.” 

 

Um, excuse ME, NO YOU DO NOT!

 

What a foolish comment to make.  Think about it!

 

Each and every journey is unique and is completely different.

 

I truly do not know what you have been through.  I cannot possibly UNDERSTAND, because each of OUR journeys is DIFFERENT.  I have not been where you have been.  I am not YOU.  I am an entirely separate and different being.

 

What affects you, MAY NOT affect me.  What bothers ME, may be nothing to YOU.

 

And yet, you would criticize, condemn, denounce, attack, disapprove of…point fingers and disparage others.

 

How DARE WE.

How dare we say ANYTHING.

How dare we COMMENT.

How dare we open our mouths.

 

Just WHO made us boss, guardian, supervisor, caretaker over another…

YOU may be my brother or my sister, but you DO NOT KNOW WHERE I HAVE BEEN!

 

WHO ARE WE to determine HOW another human being should live THEIR LIVES?

 

And yet, we DO, and frequently.  We cannot hold back.  And WE DO NOT!

 

For whatever reason, we think, we feel, we imagine that our small, petty comments ARE IMPORTANT…and NEED to be heard…and need to be STATED…they need to be SAID.  They do NOT!

 

Our mouths and our comments unfortunately can be endless.  So, the target was Jesus.

 

He was out of his mind.  He was crazy.  He was beside himself.  He was demonic possessed.

 

He was an embarrassment.  So ultimately, his family stepped in.  They were “the HEAVIES.”  We assume, they were THERE to protect HIM.  We assume that they were THERE with his BEST INTEREST at heart.

 

Jesus would not comply.  Jesus was defiant.  I suspect, he was probably a little angered by the whole event.

 

HOW DARE THEY?

How dare they all?

 

He would NOT obey.  He would NOT assent to their desires or their demands.  He would never consent, nor would he ever concur or agree with their tactics or their strategies.  He was not about to conform to the wishes of anyone.

 

Again, how dare they?

JUST WHO did they think they were?

Scribes from Jerusalem.  So what?

 

His mother and his brothers and his sisters were another story. 

 

His heart went out to them. 

 

They at least knew SOME OF THE STRUGGLES.  They knew a little bit of the journey.

 

They knew the Jesus of his childhood.  They knew the Jesus of his growing up days.  They knew Jesus within the family unit and the roles that he chose to play.

Beyond that, there was little that they knew.  They knew nothing of his internal struggles.  They knew nothing of the external pressures on him.

 

At this point they probably knew nothing of his desires, his views, his impulses, his feelings, his psychological beliefs, and the theological ramifications of his actions.  All they knew, is what they heard.  The latest scuttlebutt.  The word on the streets, hear-say, what OTHERS said about him.  And THEY would criticize HIM.

 

NO SORRY, it does not work that way.

So, a word to the wise, is bridle the tongue.  Do not say it.  You cannot relate.  Maybe you have been through a similar experience, but they are NOT the same.  They are different.

 

YOU are NOT ME.

 

Amen.