Wednesday, August 18, 2010

SCALES OF JUSTICE

As I enter the courtroom, there are people surrounding me; yet, I stand alone. My head is lowered in shame. Thoughts of my past misdeeds haunt me. My sins are many- too numerous to count- they appear in my head. Catching a glimpse of each one as it flies past my vision; swirling rapidly by- in a tornado of past events gone awry. My troubled soul cries out for mercy. If only I could go back and re-do each one, certainly I would not repeat my choices. The clarity of the present moment provides a clear picture of past events that were previously blurred. The wisdom of today was invisible yesterday.

Praying for another chance, I stand there trembling as the Judge enters the room. A firm, loud voice calls out....Please stand! Silence! My head is spinning as my legs are wobbling, the sound of my pounding heart is all I hear, alongside my thoughts of fear ..... Fear of the Judge. What will the He say? How can He forgive me for what I've done?

I've spoken harsh words. I am guilty, I have betrayed my loved ones and my friends. I have robbed them of their thoughts, their opinions and their own choices as I have forced mine on them. I have caused wickedness by speaking unfairly of others while causing others to listen to those words, the ones I can't take back. I have given harmful advice instead of letting others learn to find their own way. I have rebelled and not always done my best. I have caused others to become angry because all I could see was myself. I have stubbornly refused to change my opinion; while depriving someone else the dignity of theirs. I didn't extend my hand when I should have reached farther. Evil words left my lips, my heart was confused. I tremble... as I stand before the Judge.

I cry out to the Judge....
What can I say before You, How can I relate to You,
Everything that is hidden and revealed You already know.
You know the secrets of the universe and the hidden mysteries of everything that lives.
You enter the innermost chambers of my thoughts and emotions.
Nothing is hidden from You and nothing is concealed from Your eyes.
Please I ask you.... forgive me for all my errors, pardon my immoral behavior....
Please, atone me for all my sins.

As I am called closer to the Judge, He opens His arms to embrace me with His words.
"I am giving you another chance. Reappear before Me in 10 days. During that time, there is only one thing that I ask of you; just one deed that you must do; all day, everyday with everyone you come in contact with." I agree and plead, "Of course, I'll do anything.

Whatever I can do to erase my sins. Please, tell me what is it that I must do." He continues, "It's simple, I know you can do it and it will certainly affect My judgment. This one act will tip the scales of justice. All your sins will be forgiven. All of them will be turned into good deeds. At first, it may seem impossible. Take it slow and start with small portions. Begin with a little and slowly increase each act. Every small deed is a stepping stone to your future. If you do this, I will see only good and toss out all your sins. The scales of justice will tip in your favor.

"Please tell me, what is this deed I must do; that has so much power to erase all my sins and give me a favorable judgment," I cry out.

"JUDGE YOUR FRIEND FAVORABLY, THEN I WILL JUDGE YOU FAVORABLY."*

This includes your friends, your family and all your inter-personal relationships.
If you do, all your sins will be forgiven. When you look at others favorably, this affects the way I look at you. Even though; there are many flaws to find in others, even if you were wronged... see only the good. Throw away your score cards. It doesn't matter who said that one thing that didn't agree with you. Sometimes, it will be hard. You may want to lash back and say something unkind, stop yourself, turn it around and JUST LOOK FOR THE GOOD!

Focus only on the good, choose to see only good. This will have a direct judgment on how I look at you. Remember this and use it as incentive when your back is up against the wall; turn the corner, and remember I am with you and watching you. How you act- affects me. I know what's in your heart and mind.

HOW YOU LOOK AT OTHERS, IS HOW I LOOK AT YOU.
See you back in court in 10 days.
Court dismissed.

*Gemarra/Shabbos p127
This was based on a lesson given by Rabbi Miller during the Salant Foundation Stepping Stones Elul course. For more information about the lesson, please contact me at mussarvaad@gmail.com


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