Judge not; the workings of his brain
And of his heart thou canst not see;
What looks to thy dim eyes a stain,
In God's pure light may only be
A scar, brought from some well-won field,
Where thou wouldst only faint and yield.
My first reading of this poem was from my own point of view. I thought about the joys-through-sorrows I have faced. No one can truly understand my journey until they have lived and walked it with me. Even then, there are times I find myself at the end of myself. Those are the whisper-moments. When I hear God's voice clearest and when His presence is nearest.
When you behold an aspect for whose constant gloom and frown you cannot account, whose unvarying cloud exasperates you by its apparent causelessness, be sure that there is a canker somewhere, and a canker not the less deeply corroding because concealed.
I considered this poem from the point of view of someone I would defend and protect. Flicking away my motes (see Luke 6:41) that cause others irritation is often a pleasure. I am an editor as much as I am a writer. Red-lining my own errors are not difficult cuts for me to make.
Judgement against four things can make my right eyelid twitch and my brow furrow. Speak against my husband or my three boys without just cause? Watch out for those beams swinging as I attempt to remove them!
That does not mean I will not listen. I just rarely want to hear it. My family is a work in progress. In most cases, I am fully aware of the edits and revisions to be applied.
While we are coldly discussing a man's career, sneering at his mistakes, blaming his rashness, and labelling his opinions ... that man, in his solitude, is perhaps shedding hot tears because his sacrifice is a hard one, because strength and patience are failing him to speak the difficult word, and do the difficult deed.
Then I did one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I read the poem from the points of view of those who have offended me.
I opened my eyes a little wider and slid another blinding beam free.
Now do you see?
How I read the poem makes all the difference.
Not just for them.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Luke 6:41 (KJV)
Judge not, that ye be not judged. Matthew 7:1 (KJV)