Your neighbor just killed 12 people in your town. Joshua Hardy, who always mowed your lawn, gave his life.
Your neighbor Joshua was always there to help his neighbors, was a city engineer and seen by many as a deeply religious man. Another neighbor saw him as you did — Joshua was always trying to help people to see hope on the horizon. Joshua knew that hope always traveled with God’s love. which the young poet, Mattie Stepanek, had been trying to share in his poems.
What if these two people were your neighbors? If they were your neighbors, what we know of their backgrounds and the stories of other neighbors, they would never determine who they were by looking in a mirror, for little of the soul is displayed in a mirror. Their souls are seen through the heartfelt work they did bringing peace and love to our attention.
If your neighbor killed your friend, your daughter and your uncle without a known reason, would you ask him why he did it, or would you be joining the NRA to stop any gun controls for gun buyers, or read Mattie’s poem, “For our world?”
If we don’t stop and be silent, Mattie feared we would lose the blessings of songs in our hearts. For one moment he seeks kindness, gentle innocence, and trust like children, never judging or vengeful.
What if your neighbor took your child away from your wife in the middle of breastfeeding? What if your neighbor described you as a gang member, when the only gang in which you were a member was a gang of disciples for Christ?
There you are called to teach about God’s love, hope for within, hope for each other, and hope for our world.
While on earth, Christ required disciples to bear their own cross, and follow him, to not judge another, and know his love never leaves our side. He did not judge your truthfulness. He only showed you the path to take. Judgement of the soul is not ours, for we cannot see anyone’s heart. We can only see kindness, and hope that lights our way to love and peace.