Saturday, June 29, 2013

Judge Not

I was recently at the funeral of a relative. It's a family where an ancient incident has resulted in a complete estrangement between two sets of siblings. Neither side has spoken to the other for years.

I was never party to the conflict, and after the memorial service greeted one of the excommunicated brothers who had come with his girlfriend. I thought it was courageous and generous of him to attend a service where his own siblings completely ignored his presence.

As we were talking I looked over at my daughter, hoping she would join us. To my surprise, she didn't even glance in our direction.

I was heartbroken. I expected more of her. I couldn't believe she had been so influenced by the hostility and hatred in the family she wouldn't even come over for a greeting. But I took a deep breath, and chose to accept the reality of the situation. I won't judge her, I thought. This is where she is right now, and that's OK.

Easier said than done. As we were leaving the church a few minutes later I blurted out, "Honey, couldn't you even say hello to your uncle?"

Her response was immediate. "But I did, Daddy," she said. "You just didn't see me. I went over to him, gave him a big hug and told him I loved him." The relief I felt was palpable.

We discussed the incident the following morning. When I told her I had made the decision not to judge her, her response was again immediate but higher-pitched this time. "NOT JUDGE ME?! Daddy, the first thing you said was, 'Couldn't you even say hello to your uncle?'"

Judge not, lest ye be judged. I think Jesus said that. And as I learned that evening, it's easier said than done.


Susanne said...!

Quotable Quotes: said...

good to hear from you susanne. and i'm still enjoying you at this and that.

aemish said...

Here I thought I was the only one with a weird, stubborn family..

Thank you for sharing such a unique and personal anecdote