Wednesday, March 9, 2011

letting go of judgment

I hear it often over several weeks.  Playing over and over in my mind.

You cannot judge until you've walked the life.

I am convicted.  It hurts.

Too often I peer inside people's lives.  Uninvited.  Hunched down, seated comfy in my great big throne, all high and mighty on myself, peering into windows of lives I don't know.

Lives I don't know.

Until I walk in their shoes.  Until I live their life.  Have their heart beating inside my body instead of my own.  Know their pain and sadness.

The truth is that I cannot walk any other life than my own.  Basic if/then math statements reveal the truth - therefore I cannot judge.

I've not done Lent before.  I've heard of folks giving up things, and most of the time it seems so religious-y.

What do they do what the time they once used for something else, I'd wonder.
How have they grown, or have they?
What was the result of that giving up?

I judged.

I decided Lent wasn't for me.

And yet, in my heart I really couldn't escape the questions.  Not really getting communion.  Not really understanding the meaning of the Cross.

Too ashamed to admit it, I fretted inside about how I can call myself a Christian and have issues with these big parts - the biggest part of Christianity.

So, I'd set aside theology and just live my life.  Jesus would come nearer and I'd know Him personally, quietly asking Him about the meaning of it all.  To know more.  To really see how He Loves.

There are forty days between now and when we recognize the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The resurrection that leaves me with so many questions, and yet is precisely what gives me hope because sure as I know my name I know the still-small-Voice that speaks to my heart - the Spirit of the Living God.

During this season of Lent, I'm drawing nearer.  I'm asking those questions and listening.

I'm letting go of judgment of others.

I'm learning how Jesus walked with folks who claimed to know it all - folks who were so pious.  I'm *seeing* more.

I'm leaning in to *see* how this Jesus-man lived among folks He knew so much about, and yet He chose to Love - gently, kindly, humbly.

I won't become Jesus at the end of Lent.  I won't be all perfected in my non-judging ways.  I'm sure I'll still struggle with judging and questioning why.  But, this time will be a good time.  It will be a growing time.  It will be eye opening and heart widening.  


  1. I had the same perspective on Lent also. It changed this year. Even before reading about others' decisions to do Lent, or just knowing they would do it because they do it every year... I realized that I don't need to worry about why they are doing it, God knows their hearts. I've never sacrificed something for Lent before. But this year is different. In this moment I know that God is calling me to let go of my perspective and respect others. I appreciate your post because I judge others, and I need to let that go also. I pray that God really blesses you through this time of your life.

  2. Beautifully written!

    I'm visiting over from Chatting at the Sky, and I love what you tackled today.

    Growing up, judgment was preached against in our church, but it was practiced in our home. And it was painful to admit that as an adult, that I was very good at judging others. I'm not out of the woods yet, but life feels much lighter now that I'm trying to concentrate more on my actions and motives instead of others.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. :)

  3. As a person who does Lent (or more correctly stated tries to do Lent) I feel that my perspective on Lent has changed tremendously throughout the years. I used to give some thing up and to be honest all that made me do was hate Lent. I didn't (and probably still don't) appreciate the sacrifice. Instead I am trying to start doing instead. Giving up "ice cream" or something else I really enjoy doesn't make me feel closer to God. This year I have chosen to "give up" yelling at my kids. Now since I know this is something I need to work on I figure it will bring me closer to Him because I KNOW I can't do it without his Grace...and a lot of it! Thanks for blogging on such a thoughtful part of our Christianity.

  4. Such a beautifully written post. I will be observing lent for the first time in a long time this year. My heart has changed...the sacrifice of the cross is more clear. What an amazing journey!

  5. Last summer, we moved away from south Louisiana, a predominately Catholic part of the country. I taught in an Episcopal school, where most of the student body was Catholic. This is my first Lenten season away, and already I miss it -- the beauty and purpose in the marking of days, the intentional preparation for Easter, the focus on the quiet and sacrifice that more fully exalts the glory of the Resurrection.

    I drove an hour yesterday to participate in a Presbyterian Ash Wednesday service and was profoundly moved with the idea of wearing Christ bodily for a day as through His scars He wears us eternally. This season is sacred for me. It is something I've come to love as much as Advent. I have my Catholic friends to thank for that.