Many years ago when I was still single, I along with a family went to help clean an older gentleman’s house. This older gentleman was in our church and was confined to a wheelchair due to complications with diabetes. He couldn’t really move, and he was also going blind. He sat in his wheelchair and casually conversed with me while I cleaned around him. All of sudden he dropped something, and as he leaned over to pick it up, he said, “#$##%@#!!!!” Yes, he swore. He lost it and his mouth went off. I was shocked and felt awkward. I remember thinking to myself, “What do I do now? Do I go toward him to pick the item up? Do I even mention what he mouthed off? Or do I pretend I didn’t hear a thing?” You see, this gentleman was normally a very happy and contended fellow. In fact, he reminded me of Santa Claus. So naturally, his moment of frustration left me in a state of shock.
This incident is still very vivid in my mind, even though it’s been more than ten years ago and that this sweet gentleman is now in heaven with the Lord. I continue to think about this incident as I think about showing love and grace. Yes, him mouthing off over a small thing was not good and he shouldn’t have done it. However, those who heard it and knew of his circumstance ought to show more grace. Too often when we encounter something like this, we judge the person and define that person based on that one single moment. Do we seek to understand first before we make any judgments? Do we want others to judge us in the same matter? Shouldn’t we extend the same grace that Jesus did with us? I didn’t judge him then during this trying period, but I really wished I had more maturity to tell him that I sympathize and point him more to Christ, who knew all his pains, trials, and struggles.
Of late I’m becoming more appreciative of the gospel. It is the gospel that God showed mercy and grace to us when we least deserved it. In light of this, what do I have to pass judgement on another? The gospel compels me to extend grace to those whom we don’t normally agree with or have trouble getting along with. The gospel also teaches me to be more patient and understanding. We are all broken people in need of a savior. The gospel indeed is good news and life transforming.