“Caught On Camera”
It wasn’t his best moment, that’s for sure. On New Year’s Eve, as Pope Francis was turning away from greeting the throngs of people before he preached his message from the Vatican, a woman grabbed his hands and yanked him with force toward her. In an incident captured on video and spread across the internet, Pope Francis, loses his balance and visibly upset, slaps twice at the woman’s hands to free himself, rebuking her, and then angrily turns away. He later apologized and said “Many times we lose our patience; I do, too, and I’m sorry for yesterday’s bad example.” The difference between you and me and Pope Francis is, when we lose our patience, nobody is recording it and sending it out on YouTube, FaceTime, Twitter, Instagram and every social media platform and news outlet around the world. How many times have we lost our patience, said an unkind word, snapped at a loved one, spoke without thinking, responded with sarcasm, pointed our finger in a threatening way, cursed under our breath (or out loud), said or did something we were later embarrassed about and not one time was it recorded for all the world to see? It is easy to judge the Pope (or, for that matter, the woman who grabbed at him) and not know anything about his story, his motivation, his fears and or his thoughts. It’s easy to point the finger and hold him to a higher standard than we hold ourselves to since what we do is out of the eye of the public and only known to a relatively few people, if any.
The apostle Paul writes in Romans 2:1:
“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.”
We all know the old philosophical question: “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Here is a twist on that question…a little longer version:
If somebody sins in the forest and nobody is there to see it, is it still a sin or is it only wrong if the whole world witnesses it?
What do you think?
How does it make you feel?