Friday, September 04, 2009

You know what I know? That kindness is the better way. Justice can be kind. I mean it- surprisingly gentle even.

Maybe it's crazy to learn from Oprah, but I have. I learned something so valuable to me that it will follow me the rest of my days and give me peace. Last year Oprah had a guest on her show- The Most Hated Woman in America. This lady changed her daily routine and accidently left her gorgeous little towheaded girl in the summer heat inside a closed vehicle. Of course, the precious baby died. I believe there is no greater injustice than the neglect of a parent which causes the death of a child, a child at the complete mercy of his or her care.

At some point in my life, I too would have hated this woman for doing such a thing. How could someone simply forget their own flesh? However, I was surprised at my reaction, because I didn't go there. I felt overwhelming compassion for her brokenness. As she soberly relayed the events of that horrible day, she captured my heart.

Just about the time I was scratching my head with the question, "Why am I not feeling angry with this woman for killing her child? Why don't I want to wail on her?", Oprah turned to the camera. She started to speak on judgment. She said something which made so much sense- something along the lines of "There is no judgment I or anyone else could give which is more harsh than the one this woman has given herself. No one knows the depths of pain and suffering of the loss of a child like a mother. She knows she has done this thing and must live with it the rest of her life." Who exactly am I to hope she pays dearly? To wish she'd go to jail or hell, or pay some huge debt back to society? She will pay dearly with regret for her entire life. When she's on her death bed, her daughter's name will be the one she'll whisper. I bet the mother already wished she'd have been the one to have died. She's getting perfect justice, and all I can think is, "I'm so sorry for her. I wish it hadn't come to this."

Such is the way of one who falls.

This lesson sustains me in a new pursuit in my own life. You may hear things about me soon, and I hope you can see beyond appearance to the kindness and justice mixed up like a strawberry fruit smoothie in me. I may get judgment, but it's not me I'm speaking of who requires kindness. It all boils down to the fact that justice and anything else for that matter is learned best through love. I'm walking down a path I've never been down and never wanted to go down before now. Pray for me. Pray it isn't all regret but an adventure with hope behind every corner.


Lisa said...

Well said, my friend. May the journey lead you away from what just looks good and towards what really is the best.

Hope said...

I really learned this this summer through the most difficult time I've had in my life. I had all kinds of reasons to choose something other than kindness and I was graced to choose love. It was a very pain filled time that has changed me at the core. For the better.
Peace be with you.

Anonymous said...

I felt a similar thing when the news story came out in the early 90s about a mother who drove her children into the water and let them drown. I can't and don't want to remember the details. The news berated this "horrible woman" and my heart cried for her. I just kept thinking of the severe pain her own soul must be in to #1) do what she did and think it would be better for her children, and #2) live with that decision the rest of her life. I still think of her and mourn.