"Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you, for God will judge you in the same way you judge others, and he will apply to you the same rules you apply to others. Why, then, do you look at the speck in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the log in your own eye?
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
As a teenager I attended Youth Institute, a Methodist summer program held on a college campus. One of the counsellors was a missionary who had spent most of her career between Hawaii and a Navajo reservation in Arizona. Isabel Kennedy was an incredible woman who seemed to read our minds. Her insights helped me navigate my turbulent teen years, for which I am grateful to God. She always wore a pin on her lapel, a tiny pair of leather moccasins. When asked about the pin, she said that the Navajo say, "You cannot know a man until you walk two moons in his moccasins."
When you think about it, it helps us back up a bit when looking at situations we don't understand. My friend says, "there's always a back story," and it's so true. We can never know all about a person or group of people by judging one set of circumstances. My history informs my life. Just so, every person has a history that guides them to any specific moment or action and unless we understand what that is it's hard to make any kind of assessment.
Maybe the reason we all loved Izzy Kennedy so much is because she lived by her moccasins. She was not judgmental; she listened and tried to understand. We knew that about her and so we came to her with our inconsistencies and questions and she helped us make sense of what was going on in our heads and hearts. We all are tempted to rush to judgment. At times like that, I try hard to remember: "You cannot know a man until you walk two moons in his moccasins."
God, my Father, Jesus, my Guide, help me to remember when I'm tempted to rush to a conclusion about someone or some group to wait and think about walking "two moons in the person's moccasins." Amen