Saturday, October 13, 2012

Thou Shalt Not Judge

I had a dream.  It was a dream I will never forget, and I will never be the same because of it.

It began with me standing in the door of a bar.  The bar was run down and dirty, and the inhabitants blended with the atmosphere.  Every person in the room appeared to be drunk.  Even though I was not told, I sensed what each did for a living.  There were doctors, lawyers, executives, factory workers, housewives....

No one spoke.  People just stood or sat around in a sad stupor.  All were dressed in their work clothes, but they looked like they were either up all night or had just gotten out of bed.  Clothes were rumpled, hair mussed up, make-up smeared, men had stubbles on their faces.  No one moved.

I waited for a moment to see what was going to take place, but nothing did.  I felt very uncomfortable and wanted to leave, but when I turned to open the door, it was gone!  There was no way out!  I began to get frightened!  I didn’t belong there!  I wanted to leave, wake up, anything, but be where I was!

Suddenly, a man at the end of the bar caught my eye.  As I stared at him, he slowly turned to meet my gaze.  His eyes were so sorrowful and empty.  I somehow knew he was a young doctor about the age of 33, and he may have been a very attractive man at one time.  His blonde hair was mussed and fell over his eyes, and he hadn’t shaved for several days.  He sat slumped over the bar with a glass of liquor in his hands.

Then it began happening.  Without wanting it, I began seeing into his past and to know all about him.  He came from a long line of successful doctors.  His father was a well-known physician who worked at all the major hospitals in the area, and he did quite a bit of traveling giving lectures to various groups.  His mother was a successful obstetrician at one of the local hospitals.  Both had high expectations of their son and expected him to take his place in high society.

There was one problem though. The son didn’t care about money or being a part of high society.  He cared about the poor and the less fortunate; those who couldn’t afford food to feed their families, let alone medical care.  He wanted to start a clinic in a poor section of town so he could give those people the quality care they so desperately needed.

Of course, his family had a fit over this crazy idea of his and would hear none of it.  Every time he would try to get the clinic started, his parents would use their influence and put obstacles before him.  They just kept pushing for him to be what they considered was a success and to make a lot of money.  Finally, he could take it no longer and he broke.  He turned to alcohol to help him forget his dreams, to ease the pain he felt for others, and maybe in a way, to get back at his parents.

Most of the others in the bar had basically the same, but different stories.  Things happened to them in their lives that they were not prepared to handle.  An executive lost his job because of his age and couldn’t find another job.  A lawyer handled a client whom he knew was innocent, but because of powerful politicians, he couldn’t get his client’s name cleared; nor his.  A housewife was constantly being beaten by her husband and her children were sexually abused.  A secretary was sexually harassed by her boss and eventually raped by him.  She couldn’t say anything about it, as her boss was well respected in the company and in the community, and there was no way anyone would believe her.

I began to feel really sorry for these people.  Not only sorry, but angered that this was even happening to them.  I didn’t know what to do about it.  Before I could say or do anything, the door appeared and I was being led out of the bar.  I wasn’t being led by a person that I could see, but more of a Force. 

Yes, this is part of a dream that I really had.  It taught me not to judge because there is always a bigger picture and you never know a person’s state of mind.  Therefore, I learned to have more love, compassion, and kindness for others. 

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  (Matt 7)

(Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper on October 12, 2012.  For the full version of the dream, please go to


1 comment:

Rev. Joy Scudder said...

Well said, Karen. Of all the verses in the Bible, "Judge not..." is the one most forgotten. One other forgotten verse from Jesus:
John 15:12, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." KJV