Really? See innocence?
When your boss explodes at you once again? When the woman at the checkout lane sneers at you as you pull your checkbook out instead of a debit card?
As your spouse throws accusations, pushing a wall of ice in between you?
Really? See innocence?
Why? It’s so much easier to get angry, embittered, cold, isolated.
But all that those actions grow are a deepening mental focus on you. How you were wronged. How they are bad. How they have affected you. How they “made” you feel. Can someone really “make” you feel a certain way? They can ignite emotion, but I’m pretty sure we decide how we feel and decide to keep feeling a specific way. Allot of times our emotions are like a car crash. They make you nausious, miserable, sad…yet sometimes it’s nearly impossible to look away.
The truth is, the cashier may really have sneared at you. She may have been irriated beyond all else.
She simply may have had gas.
But does it matter? Did you do anything wrong by using a checkbook? No. But the human temptation, our path of least resistance is to fixate and become angry or severely irritated that “she sneered at me!”
Or, she may have been on the verge of tears because her husband hit her again last night and it was a year ago she said she couldn’t do it anymore…ft you just interpreted her face as a sneer…not as the beginning of an emotional avalanche.
Seeing innocence in others may even be considered selfish. When we see the innocence, we don’t get bound in the shackles of assumption. Regardless of what really was going on, we have a choice, and it’s all ours. We can walk through a situation assuming and be consumed or figure out if we wronged her or not and move on. A sincere apology, regardless of the reaction is really all we can do.
It’s hard to see innocence. The initial second we experience any situation our toes are ready to land on that loose rock, sending us falling into a valley of mentally crafted anger, rage, irritation or the like.
John 8:2-11 says, ” At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
The men who brought her saw a law breaker; a whore.
Jesus, wrapping her in his raw tenderness, saw a child of God searching for intimacy, love, acceptance; someone who would cherish her…for her.
I think her search finally ended when she lifted her head, moving her sand-salted hair from her eyes, to finally see the one she was brought to.
He looked past everything. He saw her innocence.
I wonder how many fights, strained relationships, random “checkout clerk” episodes we could avoid if we lived like this.