I never really liked the guy. Not to say I hated him, but he was a somewhat crude individual who liked to pretend he was smarter than those around him. Because of this, he was often the butt of people’s jokes, and not always were these jokes made behind his back. I am sad to say that I was a part of this ridicule, if not to his face. But he tended to be a pain to work with, and, now that I think about it, we were only using his frequent mistakes as an excuse to make ourselves feel superior.
I don’t know his beliefs. I saw him show up at my church one night, but instead of trying to make him feel welcome, I avoided him.
I don’t know his age, but he couldn’t have been more than twenty at most.
I don’t even know his name. I probably did once, but since everyone always called him by his nickname, his real name was soon lost to my memory.
And today I found out he’s dead. He drove his truck into a lake and drowned.
Not to be morbid, but the next time you find yourself making fun of the geek across the room, or even the jerk who tries to belittle everyone he meets, think about how tomorrow they might not be here. Think about how YOU might not be here tomorrow. Think about how hopelessly lost in sin and pathetic you were, would be, and perhaps still are, without the grace of God. Think about the ones who mercilessly mocked Jesus, abusing Him both physically and emotionally, hurting the only One who was without sin. And think about how He endured all the while, and repaid evil with good. Even as He was being crucified, He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
So who will you choose to imitate? Jesus, in His everlasting love, patience, grace, and forgiveness? Or will you play the part of those who oppressed Him and the others around them, deluding themselves with the foolish notion that they were somehow better, by their own right, than their fellow sinners?
Remember, as I will try to, that if not for the grace of God, there would we be also.