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    JOHNTJ1   61,453
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“God’s done his job. Are you doing yours?”

Sunday, December 01, 2013

It usually takes 20 seconds or so for the hot water to make its way from the basement to the second floor shower. That cold blast of water is enough to wake me up, reboot my brain so I can start planning. I’ll usually think about 3 or 4 blog topics I want to write about during the course of the upcoming week. By the time I’m ready to towel off and get dressed my plans are pretty well set.

As I lathered up this morning I was humming to myself. I had 3 really good topics floating around inside of me. The outlines for anything I write or speak are done in my brain, saved and filed. This week I was going to write about, a new exercise strategy, a new strategy to deal with temptation and finally the challenges of working in a relatively sedentary job and how you could deal with it. I was pleased.

And then it happened. It usually does when I’m all relaxed and pleased with myself. That “little voice.”

“God’s done his job. Are you doing yours?”

“Oh man!!! Please, not this week and not that. I want to GET friends not LOSE them.”

Joan rapped on the bathroom door to remind me that Mass wasn’t held in our bathroom and we needed to get going if we were going to make it to church on time. I wanted to see our recently renovated cathedral so we’d have to drive a bit farther than normal. The church was breathtaking and I settled in and anticipated that nice warm and cozy feeling.

“God’s done his job. Are you doing yours?”

“A moment’s peace, that’s all I ask, a moment’s peace.”

The priest preached on the first reading, Isiah 2:1-5. He talked about reconciliation, about making peace and how this was a good time of year to do so. He spoke of God’s vision for us and how easy it is to take that vision and contort it and use it for our own purposes. He spoke of God’s peace and love.

“God’s done his job. Are you doing yours?”

I hadn’t thought about Helen and Bernadette in a few years. (Not their real names.) Both of these people had chosen to terminate a pregnancy. I remember when they shared that with me the tone and inflection in their voice rang out with a “And now I guess you don’t wanna have anything to do with me.” They kept staring at the ground.

Truth be told I didn’t know what to say. It seemed that anything I offered as a response seemed awfully weak and puny and as I came to find out these two people had been put through the holy and righteous judgment mill enough.

So I listened.

You have to know that these experiences were roughly two years apart from people who didn’t know each other at the time of their choice.

Both shared with me that they might have made a different decision if someone, anyone had reached out a hand of love, support and encouragement rather than the harsh judgment of both fornication and adultery. If someone had understood that they were young and scared and backed into a corner.

“God’s done his job. Are you doing yours?”

I’m quick to judge. Hold still, I’ll slot you where you belong and move on. Reaching out, defending another person’s right to choose, offering alternatives instead of taking the Bible, and throwing a bean ball at their head……

“Thank God it’s not me……”

I know what you’re thinking, there are agencies and groups and all sorts of things to help them. They didn’t know that. They thought there was nowhere to turn because someone didn’t step out of the darkness and into the light extend a hand, look them in the eye and tell them they were loved. No one said “Come on let’s see if we can figure this out.”

Yes, you’re right. It is their right to choose. This isn’t a blog on abortion rights. Yet, both felt they only had one choice. No one in their lives presented them with an alternative. They were too busy judging them.

“God’s done his job. Are you doing yours?”

We often forget, while we are digging around trying to find a justification for our personal anger and hatred that Jesus main message was to “love one another, as I have loved you.”

Thank you Helen. Thank you Bernadette. I haven’t done my job.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIANGLE-WOMAN 12/4/2013 10:26AM

    As someone whose parents were married in May of 1967 and then my Mom gave birth to me (8+ lbs so I was NOT premature...) in October 1967, I can only imagine what it was like at that time for them both. The gut wrenching terror and uncertainty and then a choice....

I'm here to be grateful that they both grew up very quickly and stepped up to the plate to make the choice to take responsibility for me.

As a woman with three daughters, I have always preached to them their absolute sovereignty over their bodies...and their absolute duty to take responsibility for themselves and others.

And also that no matter what they did, they could always, always, always turn to us for help when they needed it.

But I know that I could do more John...you might just be the one to shame me into doing it....

Thanks as always for the thought provoking article.

XOXO

Have a great day and keep ...

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((¸¸.•´ ..•´ Spreading the Spark!-:¦:-
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PURPLEPEONY 12/4/2013 9:07AM

    emoticon blog! emoticon for sharing!

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MARCYNA 12/4/2013 6:55AM

    emoticon I wish I had been the one who helped them, that hand could have been mine....how harsh my judgment can be, if I never helped someone carry on with their pregnancy??????????? I wish I could help people in this situation emoticon and I was wondering how??'
There must be a way to let someone who desperately wants children emoticon meet someone who desperately wants to get rid of them, don't you think?????

Comment edited on: 12/4/2013 7:06:45 AM

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JUMPINJULIE 12/3/2013 2:58AM

    Great blog. Sometimes we get to wrapped up in our own heads we forget that everyone is a human and has feelings and sometimes just needs to be listened to not judge.

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BAMAJAM 12/2/2013 1:51PM

  Hi John-- I still believe that the Catholic Catechism taught us God's truths. God sent his Son to die for all of our sins, the mortal and the venial sins...BUT the forgiveness is granted when we are sorry for our sins. Repentance is necessary, being contrite and being sorry because our sinful deeds have offended our loving Father. Always I learned that we are not to judge others' souls. God is the perfect Judge.
Our dear Lord forgives us when we are sorry for our sins. He paid the price for us.
Having helped women in untimely pregnancies, there are many individuals and many organizations to reach out to assist women, in spiritual and physical ways. It is sad that there was no help for "Bernadette" and for "Helen"--- I am sure, John, that members of your church, and members of the Cathedral would have lovingly helped them. Harsh condemnation is not part of Catholic teachings ..Time and again we have learned "Judge not, lest ye be judged..". however, God's commandments still hold as rules for our lives.
I am a humble sinner and my Savior died for me and for mankind. As a Christian, I strive to be an example of virtue, and I pray for His grace. God bless Bernadette and Helen, and He knows their real names.
God bless everyone.


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IMEMINE1 12/2/2013 10:00AM

    emoticon emoticon

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WISLNDR 12/2/2013 6:59AM

    I've had a few occasions recently where I realized that I still have judgmental tendencies, It made me feel sad at the time but also grateful to be able to recognize it so I can work on changing it.

(And I have my best thoughts in the shower also.) emoticon

emoticon for another wonderful blog!!

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LYNMEINDERS 12/2/2013 4:47AM

    brilliant John...thankyou so much.....have printed this out and there are lots of folks I wnat to share this with....woohoo...go you...thankyou

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NASFKAB 12/2/2013 4:01AM

  another great thought provoking blog made so many mistakes judged others thank you

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AJDOVER1 12/1/2013 6:51PM

    Thanks, John. I'm glad it's not my job to judge others.

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HDHAWK 12/1/2013 3:13PM

    Everyone needs a hand now and then. It's sad when people think there is no one to support them or no way out of a tough situation. Thought provoking!

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BJHARRIS549 12/1/2013 2:35PM

    Awesome blog.

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REGILIEH 12/1/2013 1:34PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLIMLEAF 12/1/2013 1:23PM

    Hmm... that's something else for me to ponder over!

Thanks, John.

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BLUEROSE73 12/1/2013 12:41PM

    I love your blogs. So thought provoking. I realize I too haven't done my job. time for me to fix that.

Oh, I love the profile picture too.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/1/2013 12:36PM

    As a nurse and a Christian I am not a fan of abortion but then I don't know anyone who is. There is really no pro abortion faction. There is pro life and pro choice. When I was a young child long before I ever had an inkling that I would become a nurse, my great aunt, who I might add was one of the sweetest women I've ever known, was an OB nurse. She spoke to me once about abortion and told me about the young girls who came in and were sterile for life or who died from back door abortions. It was horrifying. Often these girls would have been thrown out in the street by unforgiving parents had they came forward with the news of an out of wedlock pregnancy. It saddened her and, even though abortion wasn't legal at that time, she let me know in her own way that abortions would always be part of life regardless of if they were legal or not. Have some candid talks with elderly women and most of then can give you some pretty scary stores about home remedies to induce a spontaneous abortion. They don't talk about it much to laypeople but will often open up t oa nurse. When abortion became legal it was a relief to many like my aunt. Not because they ave wanted to " murder" babies but because they wanted to save frightened young girls. We don't live in a perfect world. I know people who personally had abortions. My heart goes out to them - I have never had to help with an abortion. Never had to make such a life changing decision for myself. "Judge not lest ye be judged" actually is one of the best scriptures.

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TEACHING1ST 12/1/2013 12:20PM

    I always look forward to what you have to say, John. Your blogs make us think! I haven't been able to get to Mass for a month now....broken kneecap. But a neighbor brought me communion this morning and that was a great way to begin Advent. Forgiveness and examining our consciences, love for our fellow man/woman are points to ponder. Our job is never done but God's is perfect and we are blessed.

Mary

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PEGGY11 12/1/2013 12:19PM

    Now that I am a senior I look back and see many times when I was a self ritious judge. Hopefully I am not now. We have all done some things that we regret and know that it is God's job to judge, ours to understand that no one is perfect. Just let others know that they are loved as much for imperfections as perfections. After all, how would we live up to someone who is perfect. emoticon emoticon emoticon



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