I stumbled across this blog only today. It really struck a chord with me, as I have a family member experiencing dementia and know how hard this disease is on the members of the family. That said, it is even harder on the one suffering it. So I too am reminded what the author writes about. We must give grace, not judgement, as Christ gives us grace – freely. I am certain this story will give all who read it pause. Thanks Jessi. You have taught me – and I too will be “checking my socks.” This is a keeper.
Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?
What Color Are Your Socks?Written by J
I believe hate is either an emotion that is taught to us by someone, or a negative feeling due to an experienced life event, that we allow to fester and brew for a period of time, that spirals out of control, turning into hate. I know that is a confusing sentence.
Read that sentence again. The Klan, for example, is ”taught hate”. The people they “hated” had no justification for their hatred. The daughter who ”hated” her father for what he did to her, well that’s a blister that finally festered and manifested itself as hate. Regardless of how hate if formed, created or expressed, it is the most powerful force in the universe.
The goofy klansman with his Sunday shoes and white socks, marched along-side the others, unaware that there three little kids who sat in a window, poking fun at him. The same three kids, who on Sunday morning saw a man in church with black shoes and white socks, shaking hands with our dad…… As he walked out of the church, my brother raced over to my dad and whispered…”look dad, look at his socks….” My dad was not sure what the significance of the man’s socks was, until he bent over and listened to my brother’s soft whispers in his ear. He turned and watched the man walk away…..looking back at the three of us. Later that day, my father called us to the living room. ” Kids, I know what you all think you saw in church this morning. You do not know anything about a man based on the color of his shoes or socks. As you grow older, you will learn that people will judge others based on outward appearances…the clothes they wear, the schools they went to and the color of their skin…all outward things, just like the man’s socks and shoes.
It is my hope that I will raise each of you to look at the inner man, the things that are on the inside of a person, before you judge him. You are judging this man in church this morning, the same way he judges others.”
Forty years have come and gone since that conversation took place, but it has never left my mind. I find myself glancing at people’s socks in the grocery store, the mall and even in church. Often times when I am about to explode on a person with anger for whatever reason, my eyes glance downward, as if they were trained to “sock check” anyone that provoked me……strange I know.
The moral of this story? It’s simple. Don’t allow anyone to teach you how to hate anything but hate. Learned hate is a cycle that is passed on generation to generation, unbroken. Judgement should never be passed on another for any reason….especially based on the color of skin……or of his socks.