Story of the Day for Wednesday August 22, 2012
How Dare You Judge Us!
He was despised and forsaken by the people. A man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.
On the great Judgment Day, when all stand before God, some in the teeming crowd began to raise their voices. They weren’t weeping with cries of shame or remorse. They were angry.
One of them shouted to those around him, “How can God judge us?”
“Yeah,” shouted a woman, “what does God know about the kind of life and suffering we had to go through?” The woman lifted her arm to reveal the brand of a tattooed number from a Nazi concentration camp.
“Our persecution was unimaginable. We endured beatings, torture, and death!”
A black man stepped forward. “What about this?” He lowered his collar to show an ugly rope burn around his neck.
“Lynched! For the crime of having dark skin.” He spoke bitterly of the injustice he and his people had suffered: betrayed by Head Hunters, forced into slave ships, separated from family, and forced to live without recourse to justice.
Soon everyone had their story to tell. They spoke of the shame of being born an illegitimate child. Lepers painfully recounted what it was like to be an “untouchable” and to live isolated and lonely. A businessman told his story of financial success – only to be betrayed and defrauded by his friend and business partner, and to die broke.
A movie star edged closer to the center of the complaints. The crowd sneered at her as one who didn’t know what it was like to suffer misfortune at the hands of God.
But the movie star won them over. Through tears, she recounted her life of celebrity. Everybody wanted to know her, but she could trust no one. Wherever she went, she was hounded by crowds pleading for autographs, paparazzi chasing her every move and selling every unflattering photo to the scandal magazines, who created false or misleading headlines of her personal life.
“How would you like it,” she asked, “if, whenever you try to sneak away for a short vacation, you are swarmed by those who could care less about invading your privacy?”
The crowd murmured their approval, and included her in the group.
The indignant crowd chose leaders to approach God’s throne and present their grievances. They chose a Jew, a leper, a black, and an untouchable from India. On behalf of the others they presented their case before God.
“How dare you judge us! You sit here removed from the temptations and sufferings we endured on earth, and now you have the gall to judge us for our anger and failure and retaliation against those who hurt us?” Another added, “You don’t know what it’s like to endure what we have on earth.”
There was silence while the leaders awaited God’s response. Then someone stood up before the throne. He stretched before them his nail-pierced hands.