A Thorny Hug

26 July 2021

The Christian life is to be judged entirely on our attitude to other people. The welcome we give others, how we find room for them, is indicative, or otherwise, of our good apprenticeship. Because, according to his own revelation, Christ and other people are one and the same: ‘Inasmuch as you’ve done this to one of them… you’ve done it to me’.

So the kind of embrace we offer, its quality and ambience should be the same as if we were welcoming Christ himself. What Christian would fail to prepare to the best of their ability so that he who is considered the captain of our faith and our God would feel at ease and comfortable? So that Christ could avail himself of the best our household has to offer.

But, unfortunately, what do we, his faithful followers do in most instances? We welcome guests and hug them but attack them with thorns, knives and broken glass. We welcome them by wounding them grievously, making them bleed from gaping wounds. How? Through the judgmentalism we keep handy, not only on our lips but, even more so, in our heart. When Christ calls upon us not to judge others (in essence himself), it’s in order to accept and welcome them in our heart without wounding them. If we want to be his, he takes away the knife and the thorns. Because he tells us that judgment is his and it doesn’t do for us to try and usurp him. In other words, we shouldn’t play at being gods. If you judge and gossip about other people and condemn them, you’re setting yourself up as God, and you’re suffering from the problem of latent pride and repugnant delusion.

There’s only one instance when he told us we’re at liberty to judge: when our judgment is just and not superficial. To put it differently, when our judgment is full of love for the other person. In that case we can judge, because we’ll be like a protective umbrella stretched out over them and they’ll be safe in the security of a maternal embrace. ‘My judgment is just because I do not seek my own will, but that of the Father who sent me’.