Thursday, September 6, 2012

Too Old To Be Innocent

I have said to some folk in recent days that this has been a long, hot, dark, painful summer.  We have struggled as a family with our son's addiction and the resulting problems from that reality.  Some days I just wanted to close the door and not open it ever again.  But that has slowly changed.  With the help, support, encouragement of a lot of folk from different venues, our sense of healing has begun.  We are going to get through this.

If one pays attention at all to a summer like this, there ought to be some things learned.  The first, quickest lesson of course is that addiction is now a part of our family dynamic.  With outstretched hands from others, especially Al-Anon, we are learning how to live and work with that dynamic.  Hopefully, we will be able to assist others who may traverse that particular road.

But another thing has come home; painfully so.  I realize that I can never again really be one who passes judgment on someone else when there is failure in their life or in the life of someone they love.  It is an easy tendency to want to elevate oneself in a superior way by saying/thinking "that's not who I am, that's not the way I behave."  (I believe that was the prayer of a Pharisee one time who stood alongside a Publican who only pleaded for mercy).

Or, to put it another way, I'm way too old to ever be considered innocent again.  Too much personal history.....too far down the road.  I need to get better acquainted with the Publican.

I mentioned this to some folk and a good friend inquired what we are to do when, say, a Senatorial candidate talks about "legitimate rape," and then goes on to dig the hole deeper by saying that a woman can't get pregnant when she is being raped.  Does that not need to be called out?

I sense that there is a difference between judgment and confrontation and debate.  Clarence Jordan said that "by our fruits we are known," and that means there are moments when we need to be "fruit inspectors."  But, at least for me, here and now, I must speak a word of caution.  Confrontation and debate may be necessary, but it can also spiral into a stance of judgment.  The Senatorial candidate's remarks were shameful and need to be exposed for their shame.  But that does not mean that I have a higher moral ground than does he or that I am somehow better as a person.  He and I both need mercy.... a lot.

We are both too old to be innocent.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it has been a challenging summer in many ways. On the issue of debate, too much of the political variety these days is not honest 'debate" in the sense to uncover a better solution. It has devolved to grandstanding to their respective base. When and if the candidates realize this, we might make some progress. Thanks for sharing the post and this meaningful perspective.