Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Not One to Judge

Perusing recently the autobiography of one Robert Clary, a Holocaust survivor who later starred on the television sitcom Hogan's Heroes, which mocks the Gestapo and Nazi Germany, I happened upon his statement that during his incarceration, he prayed nightly to God. By the end of his time in camp he had come to the conclusion that there was no God, for surely God could not have any justification for allowing such crimes as he experienced and witnessed. He respects the rights of others to believe, but he simply cannot.

I know that many people would love to act as missionaries to this noble man and bring him to the knowledge and goodness of God. To those stalwarts I have two beautiful little words.

Shut up.

I would be the first to try to bring joy to his misery filled life by teaching him about God, but I first have to respect who he is and take seriously what he has endured. Truthfully, a Holocaust victim who can get up in the morning and make it through the day without continually screaming hysterically has already accomplished more than most do in their entire lives. God has these very special people in hand and our job is not to judge, but to love unconditionally. Let God convince him otherwise, gently, lovingly, and with a perfect understanding of his feelings.

I think we sometimes forget this principle in our everyday lives with everyday people. Sometimes we become so quick to judge someone that we consider flawed without taking into account all they have endured, much of which might prove horrific. Sometimes we pound our fists, arguing the absolute fact that we are right. Maybe we understand a true principle but maybe it is not right to attempt to force them to believe. Maybe we need to show them understanding and then they will begin to learn what we know on their own. Maybe we need to remember that human beings will not care how much we know until long after they know how much we care. 

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