Yet another person had been killed crossing the highway in our small town.
He’d been hit twice, by cars going both ways.
Judging from the location of the accident, I quickly pieced together the rest of the story in my mind.
He was coming from an area infested with drugs and crime…he was probably high on meth or running from a drug deal gone bad.
It wouldn’t be the first time someone had been killed in that area for those reasons.
It was a sad story…but it was also one less tweaker we all had to contend with.
End of story…except that wasn’t the real story at all.
The real story is that he was coming from visiting his grandma for the holidays… he left before dawn to walk almost ten miles to work.
It was cold and it was dark.. but he wasn’t going to be late.
He was used to walking…his own home was five miles away from his work and he walked it every day.
He was never late.
He didn’t use drugs or alcohol.
He leaves behind a grieving child and broken co- workers.
The story I had constructed in my mind about him was horribly, sinfully, wrong.
I construct similar stories about people I read about or see every day.
You may be holier than me, but I doubt it….you do it too.
We do it to the people in front of us at the store using food stamps, we do it to the beggars holding signs at the intersections, we do it to the migrant in his dirty field clothes.
We do it to people who disagree with us theologically and politically.
We do it to the person online we know only by a name or moniker.
We do it to each other.
We do it constantly.
We think we know each others stories and we’re always the better person when we tell those stories to ourselves.
We become liars and slanderers in the process, even if we keep our lies and slander to ourselves.
We don’t know the strangers story, nor do we know how to tell our own rightly to ourselves.
We have no clue what someone is overcoming, where they are coming from or where they are trying to go.
It’s easier to live in our imaginary worlds where we are the people of virtue.
I’m ashamed of myself for thinking someone who was truly a hero to be a heel.
I’ve purposed in my mind to always make one judgment about other people first.
They are a person created in the image of God.
Maybe if I start practicing believing that about strangers, I’ll believe it about myself…
Make your own application…