Yesterday, I was joyful with a spring in my step as I walked to the car after church had met. The sun was warm as it briefly blazed through the ever moving cloud cover. But each time, as it was squeezed out, the chill returned swiftly.

The press of the remote and the expected mechanical thuds of the car unlocking were absent. Strange?! The expectation of the door to open, but didn’t, told me in an instant “flat battery!”

After an attempt to use the jumper leads failed (not enough current available from the other car) a call to the RACV for help was made, and the wait began. The cloud increased and the cold settled in. But held at bay by, a young couple who jumped in their car and went to McDonalds and bought Judith and I, a large hot coffee each.

The RACV arrived. There was the assurance that we were about to be on our way again.

As the young RACV man got out it was quick to see that he wasn’t okay. I sensed he was a little unsettled and something wrong. I thanked him for coming, then asked if he was okay.

He blurted out that he was still shaking and a bit rattled. He had just come from the previous call to free a trapped child in a car at a large shopping center. When he had got the call, the urgency conveyed by the distressed mother to the operator was passed on. He was responding as fast as possible. With his focus set to get there quickly, and the adrenaline pumping in anticipation, he was traveling a little too fast in the car park. Another man took exception to this and abused him relentlessly. Coupled with the task to then free the child, he now just wasn’t coping.

With a hand on his shoulder and a few words of encouragement he began to regain his composure. I turned his attention to what he knew best and he was quickly back in action and my car lurched into life once more. I thanked him and he was on his way.

I couldn’t help thinking about this young man and the situation he had found himself in. He wasn’t in the right by speeding in the carpark, but neither was the abusive man who didn’t take into consideration the urgency of the situation at hand…even after he was told of it. My initial thoughts were to side with the young RACV fellow; his story touching and his emotion real and present.

However, there is a side to every story. I don’t know the angry man, his fears, his concern. But if for one moment I consider the possabilities, I can see a man who may have had a near miss and out of a fright, reacted. He was probably annoyed that his life, or maybe one of his own children nearby, was threatened by a speeding driver – regardless of their cause or reasoning. Oh. That’s a bit different then.

Being in judgement, or deciding a position before due consideration, is a dangerous place to be.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Luke 6:37

“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. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from the other person’s eye.
Matthew 7:1-5

How quickly we judge and jump to conclusions that lead us down a slippery path of confrontation. If only we stop to think for just a moment, put aside our position for just a moment, and consider the viewpoint of the other person, with forgiveness at the ready…how much better would we be?