“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. ESV
I have to say that this passage has been popping into my head a lot lately. I've been working on what originally was to be a memoir, but may be morphing into a series of essays on my perspective of life - kind of reflections on what I think I'm learning and where I've been.
As I'm considering and praying about what I'd like to say, God is showing me some more opportunities for growth (as we Christians like to say). One specific place is in my judgmental heart. Christians tend to bristle and get a little defensive when people say we are hypocrites and judgmental. But see above? Jesus was calling the religious folks of the day hypocrites. And this teaching is preserved in our Bible for those of us who care to hear today. Since I am a follower of Christ - albeit a lame one - that means this message is for me. I really do want to honor Jesus and walk well, so that means I should be listening up here.
I digress. The specific place I'm feeling like a log-toting hypocrite has to do with two of my sons: Kameron and Kristopher.
Kristopher is my first-born. He is now twenty-two, totally gorgeous (I can say that, it's true), and getting married next month. He is an amazing young man, and it blows me away to think I somehow (with a GREAT deal of God's grace poured out on us) raised this guy.
Kameron, as you may know, is one of my unholy terrors. He is one of three little boys I have at home right now. Andrew, the youngest, is a foster son, and due to return to his mom soon. Kameron is nine, and Kobi is nine (today). They are my adopted sons. I've had Kam since he was a year old and on a ventilator. He was born three months early.
Now, at this point in the story, I usually make sure to mention that Kam was born three months early because his biological (what a clinical word) mother was smoking crack on New Year's Day 2000, and Kam came too soon. He was born with a lot of problems, not the least of which was a massive brain hemorrhage and horribly under-developed lungs. The mom was found unfit and the rest is a story for another day.
Okay, here's the log part. When I was pregnant with Kristopher, I was a different person. I in fact, used a variety of street drugs, including crack. All this while working in a stock brokerage firm as licensed assistant to several Vice Presidents. Kind of a double-life. Now, to my credit (if you can call it that), while I was carrying Kris, I backed off drugs, mostly. And I mostly didn't drink. Mostly. Except of course for the little celebrating I did on New Years Day 1987. Crack and Champagne. Kris was born two days later, almost three weeks early, and thankfully, he was okay.
The parallel God's been gently reminding me of though, is that in the eight years I've had Kameron, I've harbored a hugely judgmental, critical, holier-than-though attitude toward his mom.
For this I am sincerely sorry. I don't know any of the circumstances of her life, and really, they don't excuse the choices she made. But, obviously, my choices were pretty wrong and horrible, too. It is only by the grace and mercy of God that my son was spared any catastrophic consequences from my - let's call it like it is - sin. For me to constantly put her down and bring up her failure again and again is wrong.
I also need to ask forgiveness of my son for risking his life when I was carrying him; and God's for my hypocrisy.
Alright folks. This is probably enough honesty for today.
Much love, and thanks as always for reading.