Categories
Christian Living Perspective

You Didn’t Know?

The young boy in my music class was on my last nerve. No matter what the rest of the students did, he just sat there—staring into space.

Enough was enough. During a group movement activity, when everyone was supposed to stand but he didn’t, I pounced.

“On your feet, young man!,” I yelped with obvious annoyance, “You need to participate in class like everyone else.”

No response.

I admonished him in even stronger terms: threatening to take his recess, call his mom and send him back to the previous grade (not really) 😊 unless he did what I said.

Again, no response.

That’s it. “You’re OUT of here!” I said, motioning like a baseball umpire ejecting an unruly player from the game. An assistant principal came and took the student, but I continued to fume for the rest of the class period.

During my lunch break I called his mom to tell her what happened. By this time, I’d cooled off, but was itching to provide a play-by-play of her son’s behavior.

However, three sentences in, when I finally came up for air, she said something that changed everything:

“My son is autistic.”

Needless to say, I immediately went from slightly agitated to absolutely ashamed. Her son (MY student) was on sensory overload from all the noise and movement in MY classroom, and I’d given him an extremely hard time for something HE couldn’t help.

After apologetically assuring the mom I’d do a better job with her son in the future, I knew what I had to do. I hung up the phone and walked straight to the boy’s classroom and apologized to him.

“Your mom told me that loud noises and lots of moving are sometimes too much for you. I’m sorry I was so hard on you. I didn’t know.”

I’ll never forget what he said:

“You didn’t know?”


There’s often at least one fact (on either side of any misunderstanding) that could change everything—IF it were known.

But we often DON’T know, so we throw that person out of our life.

Perhaps this is because of the tendency to *judge others by their actions, but ourselves by our intentions.

*My blogger buddy Chris Hendrix actually said this on his site—devotionsbychris.com. I liked it so much I reused it. 😇

It’s best to leave the final judgment to God, as Paul reminded the church at Corinth.

My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore, judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

1 Corinthians 4:4-6

Question: is there someone in your life who needs more mercy than judgement? Someone who could say to you, like that little guy said to me, “You didn’t know?”


“Finger face with a question” by Tsahi Levent-Levi is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Categories
Christian Living Perspective

Making the Call

As a kid back in the 70’s, one of my favorite Saturday afternoon activities was watching ABC’s Wide World of Sports with my dad.

The show’s opening scene, accompanied by an olympic style fanfare and a collection of sport clips, was unforgettable. For years, I could lip sync to the golden voice of Jim McKay without missing a syllable:

Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition… This is ABC’s Wide World of Sports!

One of my favorite parts of the program was a feature entitled, “You Make the Call.”

A commentator set the scene and then showed a clip of a too-close-to-call play from an epic game. The viewer was then invited to choose from a list of possible rulings by the referees. Finally, the commentator would return (after a commercial break) to share the actual result.

Even at 9 or 10 years old, I loved to debate the possible rulings with my dad. It usually went something like this:

Me: That’s easy, dad. It’s 1st and 10, Packers.

Dad: Son, this is synchronized swimming.

All joking aside, it dawned on me later how chaotic it would be if the fans in the stands actually DID “Make the Call.”

Frazzled Referee: Ok, who thinks it’s 1st and 10 Packers? Raise your hand!


God is the umpire. He makes the call.

“For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.” 1 Corinthians 4:4-5 (NIV)

But why should God ALONE be the judge?

Because humans stink at it! We don’t know what God knows, and that means there’s always at least ONE thing about someone else’s situation that hasn’t been brought to light.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke about loving our enemies and not judging others. As you probably already know, here’s how He made the call:

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37 (NIV)

One of my favorite descriptions of the word dogmatism is, “to make the uncertain certain.” For the narrow-minded inquisitor there’s no middle ground; one either agrees with them (100%) or one does not.

But where does such intolerance lead? It leads to judging, condemning and not forgiving.

And that’s why God is the umpire. He makes the call.

“Forget about deciding what’s right for each other. Here’s what you need to be concerned about: that you don’t get in the way of someone else, making life more difficult than it already is. ” Romans 14:13 (MSG)


Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Categories
Christian Living Perspective

Counterbalance

Photo by Jon Sailer on Unsplash

One of my favorite toys on the playground as a kid was the seesaw. Two children, about the same weight, could have endless fun going up and down, up and down. That is until one of the more agile boys perfected a naughty trick: bailing off the seat when it was near the ground. The other kid came crashing down of course, and it was quite a blow to the “bohonkus.” Thus the allure. Once some other mischievous boys caught on (I was one of them), nobody wanted to teeter-totter anymore.

Frankly, I’m a bit bored by the wall-to-wall, “2020 has been such a strange year!” posts. Duh! Tell me something I don’t know, and, while you’re at it, could you please make it part of a compelling story?🙃

Seriously though, it does feel like something bailed off the seat of this calendar year, causing all of us to drop like rocks, and it’s worth talking about.

Searching for biblical applications also sounds like a good idea. My “bohonkus” hurts!

“We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.” 2 Corintians 4:8-9 (GNT)

There must have been seesaws in the first century AD, because Paul absolutely nails how it feels after a free fall. It’s a blow to one’s pride and overall sense of well being after a sudden physical impact.

In other words, this &!#$ pandemic!

Remember those little egg-shaped toys that came out in the 70’s called Weebles? They were weighted at the bottom in such a way that gravity always made them stand back up–no matter how hard you flinked them.

“Weebles” by unloveablesteve is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

“Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down.”

Here’s the physics teacher explanation: “Tipping an egg-shaped weeble causes a weight located at the bottom center to be lifted off the ground. Once released, gravity brings the weeble back into an upright position. Essentially, there is only one way in which a weeble can achieve mechanical equilibrium.” Source, Wikipedia.

Mechanical equilibrium. I’d like some more of that, please.

“If the Lord delights in a man’s way, He makes his steps firm. Though he stumbles, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.” Psalm 37:23-24 (NIV)

Thank God, all of His children are “weighted” in such a way that, though we may wobble, we don’t fall down!

God’s “gravity” works in the spiritual realm, as well as the physical. Just like He said, “Let there be light,” and there was light (Gen. 1:3), the light of Christ shines in our hearts and keeps standing us upright (2 Corinthians 4:6).

There’s just one caveat: we can’t take credit for any of it.

“Yet we who have this spiritual treasure are like common clay pots, in order to show that the supreme power belongs to God, not to us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 (GNT)

Weebles may not fall down, but they aren’t indestructible. I’m an eyewitness to the fact that they can be crushed by the family station wagon.😳

“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing”

Jesus — John 6:63 (NIV)

One hundred years from now we’ll all be dead, and the surreal events of 2020 reduced to a footnote. Sure, there will still be Chambers on the Road, but the rest of us will be but fading blips on the blogosphere.

Only the eternal is REALLY real.


“For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 (GNT)

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash