Walking A Mile

I see it in their looks.  I hear it in their tone.  I have been judged.

This used to send me into inner hiding, eyes darting down to toes, shame covering head.  Failure written all over my skin.

Pain has a funny way of reproducing itself when left unchecked.  One look at her and I knew.  My tone told him.  She was judged.  By me.  Injustice righted.  So I’d say.

Instead of feeling justified, I slumped lower in my own eyes.  Confirmed their judgements of me.  But judge others I still did… out of my sinking shame.  My desperate grasp to claw my way out of Judgement Hole.

Until one person, whom I was in the midst of judging, spoke.  In kind and pleading tones I heard a trail of words that brought me to my knees, a scene playing out before me that harrowed my heart and spilled my shame out through tears.

I surrendered. Under kind, accepting eyes and tones that held no malice.  The injustice done at my own hand, yet full pardon was all that was offered me.  In gentle coaxing words,  my aching shame decreased.

Now, I see their looks, I hear their tones and one memory filters in. I feel the heaviness of their shame, that all to familiar pain.  Tempting it is, to be drawn back in.  Eyes nearly reaching toes, failures’ echos. But…

Until I walk a mile in their shoes, I will never know enough to condem.   For in all the miles I have walked, full pardon was my only end.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” ~Ephesians 4:23

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