Wednesday, October 15, 2003

On the day after the Cubs blew Game Six
I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions. -- Dorothy Day, The Long Loneliness, 1952. [And this goes for endlessly repeated "I love you-s", "I'll do it-s", "I mean it-s", et. al. I think I grew up when I realized this--judge by actions, not by words.]

Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson. [Enough said.]

Why is it so easy to understand the excusing conditions that surround my choices but so hard to wrap others in that same mercy? It is this harsh judgment of others that Christ condemns.

He teaches us how to get past it: Hold priceless the kindness and mercy of God. Recognizing our own need, turn that gift to others. After my husband died, I was shopping at a time when I felt very vulnerable. I hoped, out loud and as a prayer, that the people I would have to deal with would be merciful because I knew that any edge would reduce me to tears in a flash.

No sooner had I asked than God, mercifully but ironically, opened my eyes to the times I had fumed because someone in front of me was not organized, or not paying attention, or whatever. It hit me full in the face that I had no idea what burden that person carried, how near to eggshell fragile his or her psyche was at that moment.

I had to pull my car to the curb to take in the enormity of my harsh judgment and the humiliation of recognizing that I need the very mercy I so often deny others. It was a turning point. I am more peaceful with the excuses I give myself. I see them as the mercy of a God who already knew me in those weaknesses. But I am far more generous in extending those same mercies, for needs unknown and unseen by me, to people around me. -- Ruth Iliff, in the Daily Scripture from St. Monica, Indianapolis, enewsletter (

I think the fan that tried to catch the foul ball needs some of that mercy. Not his fault. The Chicago Tribune printed his name--what irresponsible journalism. I have lost respect for them about it. Gonzalez error cost two outs and was did a lot more damage. Not that I blame him either--baseball is built on teams capitalizing on other teams' errors. Whether in t-ball or MLB. I believe in the curse, now, though--didn't before last night. What will tonight bring? Thank goodness, it's only a game, and there's always next year!

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