I work at a library. We had a weeping 5-year-old child yesterday who couldn’t find her mother. Turns out the mother had left the girl at the library for a crafts class and gone grocery shopping. She turned up about 15 minutes after the scheduled end of the class. The little girl had been worried and crying for her mother for about that long.
Needless to say, the mom made a mistake. You’re not supposed to leave kids that age alone.
But what bugs me about the whole incident was the fact that I judged the mom like crazy and now I feel really guilty about it. I wonder if I’d feel as guilty if she didn’t turn out to be an articulate and seemingly caring person who appeared truly upset about her mistake. If the woman had been more obviously a ‘bad mother,’ would I have come to my senses as soon about judging her?
I doubt it. I’d probably still be feeling self-righteous and outraged.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner. And help me, please, to remember not to judge others.
St. Tikhon of Zadonsk says:
“Do not judge others, for you cannot know what is inside the other man. Do not condemn, for he may still rise whilst you may fall. Be-ware of even talking about others, lest you start judging them. Enquiring into other people’s sin is a curiosity hateful to God and man…because, by judging, man usurps the powers of the only judge, Christ …. Above all, when judging another we cannot know whether perchance he has not already repented and been forgiven by God.”