One day, while spending some time in a park, I observed a squirrel climbing all over somebody’s lunch box. It was obvious that this squirrel was looking for a free lunch. I was disappointed! I thought squirrels had more ambition. Where was the thrifty, industrious nut-carrier? As I continued to watch, I noticed that this particular squirrel walked with a limp. Perhaps there was a reason for its lack of industry.
Many among us limp. Oh, not with an obvious limp. The limp I’m speaking of may be far more internal than external. All of us are shaped by many forces including, the family we are born into, our life experiences, advantages or disadvantages which are ours. One person may find it very difficult to do a task that another thinks incredibly easy. For one person, life just seems to come together easily, while another struggles with some of the most basic issues of housing, job, and supporting a family. One person has a strong support system to turn to when in need, another has no one to turn to. Societies’ expectations may be something that “those who limp” will always struggle to attain.
Judging people comes easy. Judging takes no leap of the intellect, asks no compassion from us, requires no putting ourselves in another’s shoes. Anyone can judge another human being, not, knowing what burdens that person has to carry, what battles have yet to be fought, or obstacles which stand in their way. Anyone can judge, while remaining ignorant of the internal limp which keeps a person from fulfilling our expectations.
Judging comes easy, but compassion costs us. As I read the gospels though, it is clear that the primary concern of Jesus is our love for God and our love for one another. Over and over he hammered away at that message, hoping that we could get it through our heads and our hearts. And that’s a choice every one of us can make. Outward success has never been the measure that God measures us by. What matters is our love for God and how we love and care for each other. May you live in the world loving God and loving, especially, those whose limp may not be so obvious to you.
“We love because God first loved us. Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.” I John 4:19-21