I Messed Up.
I did something so stupid, disrespectful, and arrogant that for days I didn’t have the nerve to look at my face in the mirror. I was disappointed in what I saw. My mistake was immature, reckless and careless.
What Did I Do?
I passed judgment on a man I didn’t even know. I ignorantly joined a philosophical mob carrying a pitch fork and torch demanding to get the beast out of town. I was seeing red and a whole lot of it. I thought I was doing what was best for my family, spiritually and naturally, but in all honesty I was selfishly doing what I felt was best for me.
The man whom I had lined up in my “cross-hairs,” that I was at an instant ready to fire upon, had just returned home from a stent at the local rehabilitation facility for people with tainted pasts aka prison. His past offenses were severe enough for him land on a nationwide watch list for the acts he committed. Not only is he being nationally observed but he served a long 29 year sentence for what he did.
People don’t do that type of time for minor acts.
How One Man’s Presence Disturbed My Peace
This man in my mind, whom my family was in constant contact with, whom I saw 3 times a week, was a threat to my peace and the well being of what I stood for. If there is one thing that you need to know about me that is I am serious about protecting my family. Something had to change or I was about to make some serious changes myself. I refused to keep putting my family at risk.
My hostility and actions were based on what I read and not on what I observed. I could care less about how much others said he had changed. His record let me know exactly the type of person he was. I know what he did. He preyed on the innocent. He destroyed families. He ruined lives. He got exactly what he deserved, right???
He Told His Story
Then one day he was given the chance to tell his story. I can barely type this as just thinking about it makes my hands shake from the emotion. His story wasn’t full of evil acts, immoral behavior, or lies to cover up his past. He told the truth and it was the most powerful things I have ever heard. He told a story of redemption. His actions didn’t warrant his punishment. He didn’t belong on that list. In his mind he was free from it.
I shouldn’t have put him back on it again with my behavior towards him.
Who Deserves A Second Chance?
I don’t know about you but I haven’t always done everything right. My past is not squeaky clean. The only difference between me and a prisoner is that I didn’t get caught. How dare I try to judge the actions of another man? Over time I have learned to not let my past define who I am today but I still didn’t have the sense not to define someone else based on theirs.
The funny thing is when I see him now he doesn’t look the same. He doesn’t act the same. He doesn’t talk the same. He doesn’t walk the same. In his pursuit for redemption he came looking for help and all I gave him was hell. I owe him a massive apology. I was wrong and for the rest of my life his simple and powerful statement will empower me to never make that mistake again.
“I deserve a second chance.”
I was lucky enough to be surrounded by people who wouldn’t give up on me even when I had given up on myself. I made my share of mistakes and done dirt just like anyone else. If I was given a second, third, fourth and fifth chance, do you think I have the right not to give it to someone else?
“He that is without sin cast the first stone.”