Judge not

My cousin’s birthday is tomorrow. She won’t be around to celebrate it, because she died in a car accident in 2001 at the tender age of 25. Her father called my mother today and sobbed on the telephone as he remembered. Even 13 years later, the wounds haven’t healed.

I remember Tammy’s funeral. People wept and talked in hushed tones as expected, but this one felt much different from other memorials. Most were quite obvious in their belief that Tammy didn’t go to heaven. Some were so convinced of this they dared to say it out loud. You see, Tammy was reared in a strict Pentecostal home, and she wasn’t living according to those standards the morning she wrecked on an ice-covered road.

Years later another young person I knew passed away. Like Tammy, they had left the faith of their childhood and weren’t living what you might call a “righteous” life. This time, however, things were much different. The same people who judged Tammy clung to hope that this particular person had gotten right with God in the final moments of their life, and the funeral was filled with admonishments about letting God be the final judge. There’s nothing at all wrong with that line of thought, but I wonder why Tammy was treated so differently?

If God is truly love and if God truly loves us more than we can possibly love each other, why would he cast a young person into Hell before they even have a chance to figure things out? I can’t think of anyone who deserves an eternity of torment, nor can I reason what it would accomplish. Even the worst criminal is given a shot at redemption.

I saw Tammy in a dream a few years ago. She looked lovely, and we walked together for a while as I wept. It was probably just a meaningless creation in my sleeping mind, but I treasure it. I prefer to think of her happy and at peace. I just wish those who call themselves “Christian” would give her the same courtesy.

Happy Birthday, Tammy. I remember your lovely smile and your wonderful sense of humor. I remember the fun we had driving with the windows down and the music turned up loud. I hope I made you feel even half as loved as you always made me feel. Maybe I’ll get a chance to see you again one day. Until then I’ll see you in my dreams.

3 thoughts on “Judge not

  1. God bless you, and the sweet memories of your dear cousin Tammy, Brian. When my mother was going to die, God spoke to me in my mind and told me that she was going to die, and not to be afraid or worried. No one else knew this, and I couldn’t tell anyone in my family, it would have sounded ridiculous before it happened. Everyone thought she was just ill as before and would recover. I kept the message to myself until after she was gone. And when I was with her just a couple of days before she left this world, she pulled my face close to hers and said “Son, remember all the Good times.” , then released me and smiled. And that’s what I do, remember the good times with her, the marvelous things she said, and the sound of her singing voice. She was a good Christian woman like her mom, and did the very best she could for her three children.
    In Romans chapter 2, the Word of God says that some people just “have the law of God written on their hearts”, and have a “persistence in doing good” to other people, whereas some people are “self-seeking” and “follow evil”, and that “God will judge the secrets of people’s hearts through Jesus Christ” unto “Whom it has been given to judge the world”.(John 5:22)
    So don’t listen to naysayers that are so quick to judge others, but not themselves.
    The Maker of the Universe walked in our shoes through Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, and it is HE that will judge the world, not the preacher, or the gossiper, or the hypocrite, or the sinner.
    Rest assured that GOD KNOWS PEOPLE’S HEARTS….. and he will make Righteous Judgments.

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