I recently had a chance to look at myself and my attitudes in a different light. We were at the ER recently for a routine intravenous medicine that has to be administered every 48 hours. Usually things are pretty calm there. Patients come and go, the nurses and EMTs scurrying around, taking care of the patients that are there.
The ER has been packed for the last couple weeks because of this Flu epidemic, but even then it has remained quiet for the most part. You don’t hear much noise from any of the examining areas except for muted conversations while the nurses, EMTs or doctors are conversing with the patients and treating them.
On this particular evening, while sitting in a room with the medicine running through the infuser, both of us quietly reading and patiently waiting for it be finished so we could go home, the EMT’s brought in a patient they had picked up in the ambulance.
I heard one nurse tell another to call police before the ambulance arrived and overheard another nurse say they should be on their way, because, apparently this was considered a violent person. While everything was quiet for a few moments after, there was a sudden bout of screaming and shouting. It was from the patient they brought in.
Now I have heard this same thing in other emergency rooms across the country, in different states I resided in. I assumed, in every instance where I heard this, that the person was drunk, or was on hallucinogenic drugs. I felt sorry for them and for the people who were taking care of them. I know that my assumption in some cases was correct but in others I was way off base. In one incident, I saw the person after they were treated and being admitted. This poor guy had been in an accident and both his legs were up in traction.
Most of these events that I was a visual or auditory witness too were long before I was a Christian and knew not to judge others, but again, this time I found myself jumping to conclusions about someone I knew nothing about.
I silently prayed for them and for the personnel that were trying to treat their needs. Eventually they quieted down.
As we left, they were still there. I don’t know what their injuries were or if they were eventually transferred to another facility, but I know I had no right to sit in judgment of them, to draw conclusions about what was wrong, so as we drove home asked the Lord to forgive me and teach me not to judge other people, not to jump to conclusions by what I see or hear.
The human race, as a whole, has some pretty bad habits. Not only do we run around killing, hurting, and abusing others, we also often judge what others are doing, saying or going through without actually knowing what is happening or has happened prior to our having seen or heard them.
How often do you judge someone or some circumstance, in a split second based on what you hear or see? Maybe we can all learn at some point to pray first, to seek direction on who and what we need to pray about before we pass judgment or jump to conclusions about someone and what they are going through when we don’t even know them.
Prayer: Lord help me not to judge others by their outward appearance or actions. Allow me to remember to pray for them instead, because I don’t know their circumstances, I don’t know what they might be going through.