God sees we all need help, grants it
Even though it has been many years ago, I still remember some of the experiences our family had when we lived in Kansas City, Kansas. On such experience is when we would go to pick up Mother in the heart of downtown Kansas City.
Mother taught part time at a business college while she attended seminary during the day. Since our family just had one car, Mother would ride the city bus down to the college during the late afternoon for her early evening class. Later, Susie and I would drive with our Daddy to downtown Kansas City to pick her up that night after class was over.
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It was a long drive from the seminary where we lived to downtown Kansas City to the business school. The entire trip took a good two hours — one hour down and an hour to get back home.
It was common knowledge that driving through downtown Kansas City was risky after dark. Everyone knew about that area of town where the drunk people would assemble. The police warned all the citizens about travel through downtown Kansas City at night and put all drivers on alert for possible trouble.
It was not uncommon to see people lying on the streets, passed out from too much to drink. As we would drive by, those with staggering gaits stumbled along the sidewalks. Many times we could hear through our rolled up car windows sounds of screaming or loud babbling.
Sometimes five or six would be engaged in a brawl. Most times we drove through there, we could hear police sirens and see flashing lights because policemen were either on their way to break up a fight or to investigate an assault. It was a well-known fact that many times those on skid row would attempt to get in cars when cars were stopped at red lights.
I remember hearing these stories and being amazed. On our trips downtown, I didn't want to even see those people because their very appearance just sacred me! So when we would head down that way, I would just get in the back seat and lay down until we got through that part of town.
Somehow I felt safe if I could not see what was out there. But I could not help but wonder about those "wretched" people. In my childlike way I would think: Boy! I am I glad that I am not like them!
Yet, now as an adult I recognize a distinct parallel. Sometimes I look at others and behind that spiritual pride that surfaces now and again, I think the exact thing I thought when I saw those people on skid row in Kansas City: Boy am I glad that I am not like them!
But the truth is that none of us is set apart to be better than someone else — no one is better than the other. We are all held to the same standard and we all stand with the pitiful.
Paul knew this well and cried out in agony: “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7: 24-25)
James wrote: “Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” (James 2:12)
So how should we as believers look on the sins of others — even if we think their sins are greater than our own personal sins? Any sin causes separation from God and the only answer is accepting the saving grace of Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross.
In God's eyes we all need help — no matter if we are a pathetic sight staggering on the street or an educated person who regards herself a professional.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: