I don’t subscribe to that.
I find myself living to the contrary. Justice for me and mercy for others.
I have a hard time accepting mercy or even believing I deserve it. I hold myself to making amends and am pretty hard on myself.
But others …
Some of this might sound a little like I’m siding with, or making excuses for some pretty awful people. Please bear with me.
I hope I can make my point well.
It breaks my heart when I hear about a young person committing a horrific crime. Yes, even Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He’s still a teenager!
It’s a proven fact that the brain is not fully developed until aged 25.
The ‘thinking through’ process isn’t there yet. Not completely.
What he participated in is atrocious, but I can’t help but mourn the loss of his life too. A bad decision, (to put it mildly) perhaps born from peer pressure, constant teachings from someone he trusted and looked up to – has taken any future he might have had. Gone. In the blink of an eye. No do-overs.
Adults too – Consider this scenario, having gone to dinner – perhaps an impromptu celebration, someone has a glass of wine too many. They get in their car, and end up killing someone. This is was not premeditated – the person is not a murderer. I wonder about their lives before – odds are they were a great parent, gave to charity, were of service, had friends they supported, family they cared for. Their future, Gone. In another blink.
Even when I’m behind someone who’s driving erratically in front of me – I stop and think “Well, maybe they just got into an argument with a loved one, or perhaps they’re running late to work and this is the last chance before they lose their job.” I don’t get angry. I slow down. I consider there is more to the story than I’ll ever know.
But when it comes to me …
I like to think I’ve forgiven myself for the things that haunt me still. If God forgives me, I have no business not following suit. But it’s difficult.
I’ll be honest – when things go awry, there is a part of me that thinks I deserve it. The part of me that has grown so much spiritually, glares at the illogical part of me that believes this then rolls its eyes. I know better. But it is still a part of my thinking.
I pray sometimes for help forgiving myself.
I feel more for others than I do for me.
I have an obsession with the mentally ill. I’m fascinated by the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of behaviors I don’t understand. I watch shows like Lock Up and the like, and I see a vacancy in murderers eyes. I think, they are capable of such atrocities for a reason. Probably partially born that way, then environment pushing them into the wrong direction.
What if they had love? What if they had services to treat their mental illness? How could they stand a chance without those things?
Of course, I mourn for their victims too – but I do find myself thinking about all involved.
And it’s just such a shame – and such a loss. Those men behind bars were once someone’s babies. They were small and innocent and hopeful once. Then lost. Or perhaps never stood a chance.
And if my heart can be open for them, why not for me?
Another thing to contemplate and pray on.